Folkestone crash: van driver charged after William Brown, 7, dies in fatal collision

A football being carried carried into St Mary And St Eanswythe Church, Folkestone ahead of the funeral of William Brown. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA WireA football being carried carried into St Mary And St Eanswythe Church, Folkestone ahead of the funeral of William Brown. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A football being carried carried into St Mary And St Eanswythe Church, Folkestone ahead of the funeral of William Brown. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
William Brown died in a fatal collision in December 2023

A van driver has been charged in connection with a road collision in which a boy died. Seven year-old William Brown was pronounced dead at the scene in Folkestone, Kent, after an incident on the A259 Sandgate Esplanade on 6 December.

Kent Police said the incident had involved two vehicles, a red Citroen car and a grey Peugeot van. The van is alleged to have left the scene before the emergency services arrived.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On Saturday (10 May), Stewart Powell, 49, of St Mary’s Bay, was charged with failing to stop following a collision and with driving without insurance. It is alleged that, at the time of the collision, although there was insurance in place for the vehicle, it was being driven outside the terms of that policy, the force spokesman said.

Powell has been bailed to appear before Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on May 24.

Previously, in a video shared with Kent Online, the boy’s father, William Brown Senior, said his son was hit as he was trying to collect his football.

Speaking from his son’s bedroom, he said: “People of Folkestone and Hythe, could you please help us.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“At 5.35pm last night, Wednesday, December 6, we lost our son who was hit in a hit-and-run trying to collect his football.”

Mr Brown added: “Please reach out to Kent Police so we can work out what happened to our son.

“And if it was you that done it, William Junior was a beautiful boy and he believed in forgiveness and love, and peace, we already forgive you.

“If it’s you, you’re feeling guilty, but we really need to know so we can lay our son in peace and know what happened to him.” The funeral and burial for William Brown took place at St Mary and St Eanswythe Church, where hundreds of people stood outside because the 400-seat capacity church was packed out in January 2024.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Two white horses carried William’s coffin draped in a Manchester United flag to the church, with a Manchester United football and trophy among the items accompanying him. William’s father and others carried the coffin into the church, led by the Bishop of Dover and joined by family.

Paying tribute to her son during the live-streamed service, his mother Laura Brown described William as a “best friend to many” and “unique spirit” who was “engrossed in the natural and historical world”. The song Lean On Me was played to start the service, while others such as Joyful Joyful and One Sweet Day were sung during the celebration of William’s life.

Leading the service, Reverend Dr John Walker said: “Your tragedy has touched so many people in and around Folkestone. People are here because they wish you well, they stand with you in your grief.”

Related topics: