THE FAMILY of a Chippenham boy have called for safety improvements along the road where he lost his life.

Cyclist Zack Lang, 12, was two minutes from home when he was knocked down by a car on Hill Rise shortly after 9.30am on March 19. He had been sent home from Sheldon School after refusing to wear PE kit.

On Wednesday an inquest heard Leah Niblett was driving at 23mph, and would not have had enough time to prevent the fatal collision after Zack cycled off the pavement and into the path of her car. David Ridley, senior coroner for Wiltshire, concluded the boy’s death was the result of a road traffic collision.

Cycling on the pavement wearing his hood up and his headphones in his ears, Zack was more than likely unaware of the approaching car when he crossed into the road, Mr Ridley said. Zack was taken to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children but died the following day.

Speaking after the inquest, Zack’s family called for safety improvements along Hill Rise, including a reduction in the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph.

Zack’s aunt Tia Sanders, 28, said: “There are so many children along there. There are so many pedestrians. Other children have been hit, but nothing’s been done. If there were things like speed bumps it could have helped prevent things like Zack’s accident.

“We’re trying to safeguard other families from experiencing what we’ve gone through.”

A petition on Wiltshire Council’s website demanding a 20mph limit and speed bumps on Hill Rise has already garnered more than 160 signatures.

Ms Sanders, who lodged the petition, said: “We need to protect an area of the community that has lots of children playing and high numbers of pedestrians using the road daily.”

In Salisbury on Wednesday, Zack’s inquest heard the boy had called his friend shortly before his death, asking if he wanted to play video games. Zack, who had experienced problems after moving from primary to secondary schools, had been excluded from school earlier in the day. He posted a short, three second video to Snapchat, showing him cycling home along Malmesbury Road.

Driver Leah Niblett, on her way home from dropping young relatives off at nursery, told police she had applied her brakes but was unable to prevent the crash and described Zack “shooting out” in front of her. PC Gemma Carman, a police crash investigator, said black box data showed the Peugeot had been travelling at around 23mph. She estimated Ms Niblett would have had around 17 metres between the time she may have spotted Zack and the point at which her car struck his bicycle. Even at her slow speed the stopping distance would have been around 21metres. “Ms Niblett was unable to take any effective avoiding action,” PC Gemma Carmen told the inquest.

Recording a conclusion of death as a result of a road traffic collision, Mr Ridley told Zack’s mother and aunt what had happened was tragic and awful: “I can’t hope to understand how you and the rest of the family must feel.”

Paying tribute to her young son, mum Kerry Lawrence said Zack would never get to do the things a child should.

Following Wednesday’s inquest, the 40-year-old said: “We will never get to see him grow.”

She added: “Zack was funny and had a brilliant personality. He was cheeky – he always made people laugh.”

Aunt Tia Sanders, 28, broke down as she described the months since Zack died as ‘hell’.

The family revealed Zack’s organs had been donated, going to two men on the transplant waiting list. “He’s helped save two lives,” said Ms Lawrence, who thanked the community for rallying round the family after her son’s death. She also praised staff at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children for the care they gave Zack.