Wallet mix-up meant wrong family arrived at hospital after Harper Adams student died in crash

By Matthew Growcott | Newport | News | Published:

The heartbroken father of a student killed in Newport has spoken about the mix-up that meant his dying son was wrongfully identified by police.

George Crawford

It meant the wrong family was called to George Crawford's hospital bedside in Stoke-on-Trent.

George, who was a student at Harper Adams University, died after being hit by a car in the early hours of Sunday.

But at first he was mistaken for a friend after they had picked up each other's wallet on a night out.

George Crawford

George died in hospital nine hours later – before his parents, Cameron and Mary Crawford, knew there had even been an accident.

Mr Crawford, speaking to the BBC, said if they had been told, they would have been able to travel to their son's side.

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.


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"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.


"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."

George had only just started his studies at Harper Adams University, near Newport.

He was hit at the junction of Forton Road and Sunny Gardens at 4.10am on Sunday.

Mr Crawford said the positive wishes from George's friends had picked him up during a visit to Harper Adams.

“When I went into his room at Harper Adams, I was feeling the lowest I’ve ever felt," he said.

"Then I saw all the messages of support and love from his friends.

“I think George’s spirit was in that room and came into me. I went back up the road with a spring in my step and hope in my heart when I had no hope.”

Witnesses have been asked to call 101 quoting reference 106s 071018.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at

Matthew Growcott

By Matthew Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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