Devastated family have paid tribute to two brothers aged two and six who were killed in a horror crash as they crossed the road with their mum and siblings.
The children, named locally as Casper, two, and Corey Platt-May, six, died after they were hit by a suspected hit-and-run drink-driver in the Stoke area of Coventry, West Midlands, on Thursday afternoon.
Corey was holding his mum Louise’s hand and Casper was riding in a toy car when they were hit, it was said.
Their heartbroken relatives have told how the "funny" and "bright" siblings were on a family outing to a local park and were struck in front of seven other youngsters – their two brothers and five cousins – who were left traumatised.
The family thanked witnesses – including an off-duty doctor and paediatric nurse – who tried to save the boys and looked after the other children as the tragedy unfolded.
A damaged black Ford Focus was found abandoned near the scene and two people have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and drink driving.
The boys’ aunt, Tia Fletcher, who was with the boys on the family outing, wrote on Facebook: "Speeding is NO joke. Today my brother and my sister in law lost 2 of their 4 sons due to this.
"We only wanted to go to the park.
"Thank you to everyone who offered and gave their help as their were 9 children between us. 7 of them were shaken up and didn’t understand what was happening. Again, thank you."
Another aunt, Chelsea Platt-May, wrote: "Today started out like any other day. Family good morning and a family outing to the park with nieces and nephews.
"Who knew it was going to end this way.
"Me and my family are shocked saddened scared and overwhelmed with grief.
"I lost two amazing funny bright artist nephews today all due to speeding. Please watch your speeds when driving.
"I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the neighbours, bystanders, off duty doctor and paetratic nurse who all helped with watching all the children ages 1-8 and make sure they are safe, for providing blankets for the two boys, preforming cpr and offering as much help as possible. Without their help I feel we would of not been able to cope."
One of multiple JustGiving pages set up to support the brothers’ parents said the family have been left "shocked and traumatised".
It said Corey was "loving, artistic and mad about football", and had just recently been named "man of the match", an accomplishment his entire family were proud of.
Casper was described on the page as "cheeky, mischievous and caring", and it said he was "all excited and ready" to start school this year.
The page said: "The parents, their two brothers, their 5 cousins and two aunties are devastated, shocked and traumatised by seeing and being involved in the whole event."
It added: "These two boys had just started their lives."
The boys’ grandfather left a tribute at the scene reading: "Rest in peace guys. Grandad misses you so much. He will always love you xxx.”
The local community has rallied around the Platt-May family, raising hundreds of pounds to help the brothers’ parents, Reece and Louise, with funeral expenses.
The incident happened as local children were nearing the end of the half-term school break.
Kodie O’Farrell wrote on Facebook: "Woman went to cross the road with her 2yr old in a pram and 6yr old holding her hand and a car sped past went over the pushchair."
West Midlands Police said a 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman were arrested following the collision.
Det Sgt Paul Hughes described the horrific hit-and-run as "a parent’s worst nightmare".
He said: "We are still trying to establish how this tragic incident has happened.
"This is a parent’s worst nightmare and it’s impossible to imagine their grief."
A local resident, who did not give her name, described seeing a "smashed" pushchair in the road alongside a child’s scooter.
She said: "The police had taped the road off and there was debris all over the road.
"I was advised not to go near as the kids were still on the road and I had my young girls.
"It was very sad to see and the fact they ran off and hid makes it a thousand times worse.
"I just keep thinking if my hairdresser was not late it could have been me and my girls crossing that road."
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "The two-year-old, along with his six-year-old brother, was struck by a car on MacDonald Road, Stoke, around 2pm.
"Both were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
"A black Ford Focus was found abandoned a short time after the crash and two people – a 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman – have been arrested.
"The road remains closed while emergency services are at the scene and officers are speaking to witnesses."
West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Crews arrived to find two pedestrians, both young boys, who had been seriously injured following the collision with the car.
"It quickly became apparent they had both suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident and following emergency trauma care at the scene by our staff, they were both quickly transported to hospital on blue lights."