'He was the kindest little boy' - Tim (11) dies in road collision on just his second cycle to school
'Everyone is distraught. All the parents in the area can relate to it'
A young boy was killed in a road collision while cycling to school for only the second time.
Tim Ross (11) was making his way from his Westmeath home in Moate towards nearby Tubber National School when he was hit by a car just after 9am.
"It is an awful tragedy. It was only his second time cycling to school. Our hearts go out to the whole family," said one local woman.
Local publican Paul Lawless said news of Tim's death had spread early yesterday morning.
"It's devastating. They are a lovely family. Everyone is just shocked."
Tim had been crossing the old main Dublin to Galway Road at Marshbrook to get to the side road that would have brought him to his school when the crash happened.
It is understood he was killed instantly.
Independent TD Boxer Moran shared a heartfelt story about the young boy today.
"I know exactly what the community are going through. I lost a brother a number of years ago and I still remember my sister ringing me like it was yesterday," he told Independent.ie.
"She was crying down the phone and I was terrified. It's not something you really ever get over.
"There was a story about the poor little boy [Tim Ross] I heard this morning.
"He was playing football and he cut through a couple of players and scored a point.
"One of the other boys was on the ground and he went over and picked him up off the floor and put his arm around him.
"I was in tears when I heard it. Everyone said he was the kindest little (boy).
"Words just aren't enough. My condolences goes to everyone involved, but there are just no words. The community is devastated. Everyone in the Moate area. "
Tim's father Richard and mother Katharine are both from Moate. Richard works with the Irish Wheelchair Association and as a part-time farmer, while Katharine works with air traffic control in Shannon Airport, according to neighbours.
School staff were trying to come to terms with how to break the news to classmates.
Principal Anne Marie Minnock said that it was a tragedy for all the families in the school and the community.
"We are deeply saddened by Tim's tragic death. Our sympathies and thought are with his, parents, family and friends.
"Tim was full of life and very sporty. We greatly appreciate all those who are offering support and we have implemented our critical incident management plan," she said.
"The National Educational Psychological Services have provided psychologists on site to help to support and advise staff," Ms Minnock added.
Tim had two younger sisters, and had only started back in fifth class in his school on Wednesday.
The Ross family have historic connections to Moate, originally coming from Ross's Lane in the town.
"You'd see Tim cycling around here. It's a quiet road and he's known it all his life. They are good people and I'm very saddened by what happened," said one neighbour.
Katharine's family comes from the area near the Carmelite church in the town.
Independent Councillor Michael O'Brien said the Ross family were very involved in volunteering with local sports and the Tidy Towns.
"Everyone is distraught. All the parents in the area can relate to it," he said.
So far this year, 120 people have died in car crashes, including 17 pedestrians.