THE mayor of Wareham said the death of a three-year-old boy yesterday is "one of the worst days in living memory" for the town.

Councillor Malcolm Russell spoke out after police confirmed the youngster had died following a collision with an articulated lorry in North Road.

The boy had been at a pedestrian crossing with his family in the moments before the crash, which took place shortly before 8.45am.

Despite the efforts of police, paramedics and firefighters, the boy died at Dorset County Hospital. The coroner has been notified.

The driver of a Sainsbury's lorry, a 43-year-old man from Basingstoke, has been arrested on suspicion of driving offences.

He has been released under investigation as police enquiries continue. 

Inspector Matt Butler, of the traffic unit, said: “The family are continuing to be supported by specially-trained officers and have requested privacy at this very traumatic time.

“We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the collision and are still appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident or saw the manner of driving of the lorry immediately before to please come forward.

“I am also keen to hear from any motorists who were travelling along North Street at the relevant time and have dashcam fitted in their vehicles.”

Yesterday, a stretch of North Road between the junction with West Street and the roundabout at the junction with the A351 was closed to pedestrians and motorists while police carried out extensive investigations.

Officers could be seen in the cab of the lorry. The vehicle was also lifted to allow police to check beneath.

The lorry had come to a stop on the pedestrian crossing. A maroon vehicle could be seen parked on zigzag markings to one side of the crossing.

Cllr Russell said the boy's death is a "tragedy".

"It's one of the worst days in living memory for the people of Wareham," he said.

"Our hearts go out to the families involved in this tragedy, on both sides.

"Our prayers are with all the individuals involved."

He thanked the emergency services for their "prompt and efficient work".

Dorset county councillor Beryl Ezzard, who represents Wareham, learned of the boy's death while out in the town.

She said: "This is absolutely shocking. It's very emotional.

"It will have a big impact on the people of Wareham. We have a close-knit community and everyone will feel very shaken.

"It's an absolutely terrible thing to happen."

One Wareham local, who did not want to be named, said he'd heard screams after the crash.

"It's a busy road. It happened on the school run," he said.

"It's terrible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email at or by calling 101, quoting incident number 29:65.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via