Unsolved Murders

Christopher Staward

Age: 13

Sex: male

Date: 2 Oct 1960

Place: Slough Road, Iver Heath

Christopher Staward was knocked down by a van that didn't stop in Iver Heath.

He had been out cycling along Slough Road at Iver Heath, where he lived, on 2 October 1960 at about 6.15pm when he was hit by a van that drove off.

After hitting him the van drove into a group of cyclists from the Ealing Manor Road Cycling Club who had been cycling back from a cycle championship meeting at Slough Stadium.

The van was said to have been speeding along the road and to have knocked Christopher Staward down and then careered across the road and into the path of the nine other cyclists that had been in a  group formation, forcing them into the verge before racing on. It had been going in the same direction as Christopher Staward, westward towards Slough and had run into him from behind.

It was said that when the van hit Christopher Staward that he was thrown on to the front of the van and then carried on the roof, and to have eventually fallen off at the back, whilst his bicycle had been dragged along under the van.

The other cyclists survived, the worst injured suffering only a bruised leg, but Christopher Staward died.

The van was described as an Austin A30 or A35 type van or similar and to have been either cream coloured, light blue or grey.

The police carried out an intensive search for the van and examined over 100 but without luck. The van was said to have been damaged as a result of the incident and a broken headlamp glass that was thought to have probably been from the front offside was found at the scene. It was added that it was thought that the front nearside bumper and paintwork would have been undoubtedly scratched and that the bonnet and roof might have also been scratched as a result of Christopher Staward being thrown over it.

It was added that it was thought that there could also have been slight traces of blood on the van as well as blue-green coloured paint with which Christopher Staward's bicycle had recently been painted.

It was also noted that immediately after the accident that a lorry that had been travelling towards Uxbridge stopped at the scene and the driver got out and was heard to describe in strong language the driving of the van. He was also seen to pick up the rim of a lamp. The lorry was described as being three to five tons, laden and with the load being covered with a canvas sheet and the police appealed for him to come forward or anyone with information about him.

Only three boys in the group of club cyclists saw the path of the van, a 16-year-old from Northolt, a 17-year-old from Greenford and a 14-year-old from Greenford.

The 14-year-old boy said that the van had been travelling between 30 and 40mph.

The 16-year-old boy said that he saw sparks coming from under the van's wheels. He said, 'I ran back to see if my friends were all right and then I saw the boy'.

After hearing the evidence from the three boys the Coroner praised their road sense, saying, 'I think these young men showed remarkable road sense, otherwise we might be dealing with more than one inquest'.

An open verdict was returned.

Christopher Staward had lived nearby in Swallodale, Iver Heath.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Middlesex County Times - Saturday 29 October 1960

see Middlesex County Times - Saturday 08 October 1960

see Middlesex County Times - Saturday 15 October 1960