IT was a game that ended in horror.
Police were left hunting a callous hit and run driver after four-year-old Tyler Jessop was left for dead in front of his terror-stricken playmates.
The youngster was playing with two older boys near his Thornhill Lees home when he was mown down by a Vauxhall Corsa car at 4.25pm on Wednesday.
He suffered severe head and chest injuries and has undergone surgery at Leeds General Infirmary where he remains critically ill.
Det Insp Richard Holmes, the man leading the huge police investigation into the incident, revealed that specially-trained police officers were talking to Tyler’s young playmates, who had witnessed the accident.
A 24-year-old man from the Ossett area of Wakefield was arrested yesterday evening on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and is currently being held at Dewsbury Police Station.
He is expected to be interviewed today.
Detectives have confirmed that the young man at the wheel did not slow down or stop for a moment after his car hit the youngster.
Now a Kirklees councillor says the road where it happened – Lees Hall Road, which links Ravensthorpe to Thornhill Lees – needs speed cameras and other traffic- calming measures to slow vehicles down.
A man who lives next to the road, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s used like a race track by boy racers. There’s nothing along this stretch to slow them down.’’
Tyler was playing with boys aged 10 and 12 outside a friend’s house on Lees Hall Road, next to the Kingdom Hall Of Jehovah’s Witnesses and close to the junction with Ingham Road, when he was hit by the car at 4.25pm on Wednesday.
The detective in charge of the investigation, Det Insp Richard Holmes, said: “Officers do not know the exact circumstances of the incident but it appears that Tyler was struck by a car on the road. The car drove off without stopping.
“The only two witnesses we are aware of were Tyler’s friends and because of their age they are being interviewed by specially trained police officers.’’
Police officers last night arrested a 24-year-old man in Ossett in connection with the incident. He is to be interviewed later today at Dewsbury Police Station.
Tyler was taken at first to Dewsbury District Hospital but then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary, where he underwent emergency surgery that night for serious head and chest injuries.
Doctors were carrying out further tests on the youngster yesterday.
Det Insp Holmes revealed that car carried straight on after the impact.
It had come from Ravensthorpe and was heading towards Thornhill Lees when Tyler was struck.
Police accident investigation experts and scenes of crime officers have found evidence at the scene which makes them sure the car is a silver Vauxhall Corsa.
"Debris found at scene is consistent with the vehicle being a Vauxhall Corsa,’’ said Det Insp Holmes.
He urged anyone who may have seen the Corsa since or been asked to repair it to contact police immediately. Anyone who saw Tyler playing on Wednesday night, the Corsa being driven from Ravensthorpe or the hit and run should contact police.
Kirklees councillor for Dewsbury South, Khizar Iqbal, said this was the latest in a spate of accidents on the road in recent weeks. He will be talking to West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership about possibly getting speed cameras installed and other road safety measures designed to slow traffic down.
He said coincidentally he had received a petition from people living along the road before Tyler was hurt.
He said the road was used as a rat run between Ravensthorpe and Thornhill Lees to bypass the centre of Dewsbury.
“This is a serious issue,’’ he said. “Something needs to be done quickly to make this road safer. There has been an increase in the volume of traffic and speeding on this road.’’
Anyone with information should phone CID in Dewsbury on 01924 431085 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.