A10 baby death crash: Family unites for major road safety campaign

Grieving dad Chris Thorold is calling for urgent works on the A10 at Waterbeach

Louis and Rachael Thorold. - Credit: Family/Supplied

A grieving father says more than £25,000 in donations that followed the tragic death of his five-month-old son will be split between three charities.   

The money will be shared between two air ambulance trusts and road safety charity Brake.   

Chris Thorold is also setting up the Louis Thorold Foundation in memory of his son: it will campaign to bring about major safety improvements on our roads.  

The foundation has three family members as trustees.   

It will be headed by Mr Thorold, who describes himself as a “leader within technology and aerospace with over 15 years of experience in senior finance & strategy roles”.    

Louis Thorold Foundation

Chris is the father of Louis. A leader within technology and aerospace with over 15 years of experience in senior finance and strategy roles. - Credit: Louis Thorold Foundation

He says on the foundation website that his particular aims include “making the world a safer and more sustainable place and tackling injustice and bureaucracy”.  

The other trustees named are his father, Richard, and Claire Ashworth, an auntie to Louis.  

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Louis was killed when a van struck his pram on the A10; his mother, and Mr Thorold’s wife Rachael, remains in hospital.  

Mr Thorold says: “No human being should be killed or seriously injured as the result of a road collision.   

“There are numerous issues to deal with as a society to reach these objectives, but in order to start small, the Louis Thorold Foundation is focussing on one particular junction.    

“That being the junction of the A10 at Car Dyke Road where Louis lost his life.    

Louis Thorold Foundation

Trustee Richard Thorold is the grandfather of Louis. - Credit: Louis Thorold Foundation

“This junction has been the scene of numerous fatal road accidents over the last 20 years, including many pedestrians before Louis.    

“Over many years numerous residents, council departments and stakeholders have urged the council to make changes to this junction to protect both pedestrians and drivers.    

“On the day Louis died nothing had been done.”  

Mr Thorold said: “Louis and his mother were simply walking along a pavement deemed safe by Cambridgeshire Council by the side of A10.    

“Rachael is still in a severe condition in hospital having experienced a severe head injury.     

“The intention of the foundation is to eliminate infant road deaths with a particular focus on pedestrian safety.     

“The foundation is fully supportive of similar charities who either raise awareness for or deal with the consequences of road accidents.”   

Mr Thorold wants to see the installation of safety barriers for all pavement areas to offer protection to pedestrians.  “This undoubtably would have saved Louis' life,” he added.    

He wants to see a reduction of the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph for the length of road between Milton and beyond Waterbeach.    

He said: “It is likely that at a lower speed Louis would still be alive.”   

Mr Thorold is also calling for installation of a pedestrian crossing to allow pedestrians to cross from Waterbeach to Landbeach.    

He added: “These works will be a small step towards making the UK a safer place for pedestrians and will undoubtedly save lives in future and protect the residents of Waterbeach.   

“The foundation is fully supportive of similar charities who either raise awareness for or deal with the consequences of road accidents.   

“In 2018, 28 children died as pedestrians on Britain's roads with no real change having occurred to this statistic for many years.    

“We fully support the aims of the police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with their vision zero initiative which looks to systemically improve road safety and create a zero-tolerance approach.    

The fatal incident happened at about 3.50pm on the A10, Ely Road, Waterbeach, on January 22 when a grey Mazda 2 was in collision with a white Renault Master van.     

The van left the road and collided with Rachael, who was walking on the pavement with her baby Louis in a pushchair.     

The driver of the van and the driver of the Mazda suffered slight injuries.    

An inquest heard that Louis died from a traumatic head injury.     

The inquest has been adjourned until April 26.  

A10 baby crash in Waterbeach

Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed safety improvements on the A10 at Waterbeach following the death of Louis Thorold. - Credit: Sîbel Lä

In a tribute to his son, Mr Thorold said: “You were only with us for a short time, but you made us the happiest people in the world.”   

Mr Thorold, the finance director of Marshall Aerospace, added: “Your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us.   

“I cannot describe how heartbroken we are that you are gone. You are such a happy little boy and your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us.      

“Your ma-ma is fighting to stay with us, and we are praying that she will make it through.” 

For more information on the Louis Thorold Foundation, visit: www.louisthorold.com/