Devastated family of Sunderland boy killed in road tragedy open their hearts as part of anti-speeding campaign

Steven Atkinson.
Steven Atkinson.

The devastated family of a Sunderland boy who was killed after being hit by a speeding driver have spoken of their heartache.

Steven Atkinson had bravely fought childhood cancer leuakaemia as well as other health issues before he died on October 17, 2009.

Violet Atkinson with a picture of son Steven after she was told she was to be awarded a British Empire Medal.

Violet Atkinson with a picture of son Steven after she was told she was to be awarded a British Empire Medal.

Popular Steven, a massive Sunderland fan, was hit by Ross Telfer's Mini car as he crossed the road near to Broadway shops, in Chester Road.

A crown court judge heard that Telfer had been travelling at no less than 53mph in a 30mph zone.

Now, in an emotional video released by Northumbria Police to deter motorists from speeding, Steven's loving parents Violet and Graeme have spoken of their love for their son and the impact it has had on their lives.

A former Sandhill View pupil Steven, from Fordham Road, Ford Estate, had an "infectious love of life", despite being born with a cleft palate, jaw defect, curvature of the spine and being deaf in one ear.

Graeme described getting a phone call to say that Steven had been hurt.

"I thought when I got there he would at the side of the road, crying and saying 'I'm sorry Dad'.

"The amount of cars, fire engines, police and ambulances and everything that was there.

"Then when I went around the corner and the first thing I saw was Steven lying on the path.

"The paramedics were trying to revive him."

Mum Violet, who was given British Empire Medal as part of efforts to campaign for road safety charities since Steven's death, said: "When I went to the hospital they said they were working on him and for me to get the family there.

"The doctor came in and said 'he has gone'.

"That was the last thing I remember.

"I can't remember anything after that.

"To them it is just something that happens. To us the impact is just so unreal."

The release of the video coincides with Northumbria Police's supporting of a Europe-wide speeding operation.

Officers from the force's motor patrols unit have been uniting with forces across the whole of Europe, taking part in a seven-day speed enforcement operation.

Telfer, of Crichton Avenue, Chester-le-Street, admitted causing Steven's death by careless driving.

He had been on his way home from a football match when the collision happened.

Judge Brian Forster jailed him for 16 months.