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Melrose family miss son’s final moments after identity mix-up

George Crawford
Image caption Keen jockey George Crawford had just started his agricultural studies

The family of a student who died after being hit by a car have told how the were not able to say goodbye after he was wrongly identified by the police.

George Crawford, 20, from Melrose, was mistaken for a friend after they picked up each other’s wallets on a night out.

It led to the wrong family being called to keen horse rider George’s hospital bedside in Stoke.

He died nine hours later, before his parents Cameron and Mary Crawford were alerted.

Mr Crawford told BBC Scotland how they were in the north of England at the time of the accident and could have made it to be with their son for his final moments.

Image caption Cameron Crawford says his family will never get over not being with George when he died

He said: “That is the point we have to live with. We could have been there.

“I’m not blaming the police officer, although mistakes were made. I just hope lessons can be learned from this and that when checking out somebody’s ID, they get the right people.

“We can’t get over this, ever. We don’t have any animosity to anybody else – the police were just trying to do their jobs, the ambulance crews and the hospital did a marvellous job and I can’t thank them enough.

“They did everything possible to make George’s life work and unfortunately it didn’t.

“But George was such a strong lad and he lasted nine hours waiting for his mummy and daddy to be with him.

“We could have been there – we weren’t too far away, we were over at York at a horse trial – and had we been told, we could have managed to get there in time.

“But, alas, this was not the case and this is something we will have to live with evermore.”

Walked home

George had just started his agricultural studies at Harper Adams University in Shropshire when he died last month.

It is thought he lifted the wallet of friend Oliver Smith by mistake during a night out in nearby Newport.

His body was found at the side of a country road after he had decided to walk back to college on his own.

His father said: “My wife is very upset that she wasn’t there when George passed away.

“When George was born – his mother is a haemophiliac – and she was rushed to hospital under blue lights and sirens.

“George has gone full circle and he has gone out the same way as he came in – rushed to hospital under blue lights.

“The only difference being his mother wasn’t there and that is the bit that has really affected my wife Mary.”

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