Vigil held in memory of Azaan Khan, 12, in Small Heath, Birmingham, after he was killed on Coventry Road

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Azaan Khan, 12, was hit by a car on June 8 while riding his bicycle on Coventry Road on South Yardley. A vigil was held by a Small Heath community in his memory

More than a hundred members of a community in Small Heath, Birmingham held a vigil yesterday (Sunday, July 9) to remember a 12-year-old schoolboy who died in a road traffic collision last month.

Azaan Khan was only 12-years-old when on June 8 he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on Coventry Road on South Yardley. West Midlands Police arrested a man, 32, on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and being unfit through drugs the next day.

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His death is one among seven people, including four cyclists, who died in seven weeks on Birmingham roads between the beginning of May and the third week of June. Campaigners across the city have joined together to highlight the serious issues with road safety a dan active travellers and across Birmingham.

The vigil for Azaan follows an earlier vigil held near Belgrave Middleway where cyclist and father Hussien Nur Teklise died after a hit-and-run. It also follows a demonstration in Kings Heath where a woman and child were seriously injured in another hit-and-run collision.

Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills
Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills | Better Streets for BirminghaM

Frustrated Birmingham residents have been rallying together to demand better and safer streets from Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police. Organised by Better Streets for Birmingham, the demonstration on July 9 included members of the Hay Mills community. It was also attended by Labour Cllr for Moseley Kerry Jenkins.

She said on Twitter: “Pleased to support the vigil this morning in memory of Azaan Khan organised by relatives and the community determined to prevent further loss of young lives at the hands of dangerous drivers. As a pedestrian you have just 14 seconds to get across this road.”

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Another campaigner wrote: “Proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with residents of Small Heath earlier at the Azaan Khan vigil @for_birmingham Azaan, & the many other people who have been killed or seriously maimed on the streets of Birmingham, are not in our rear view mirror. We all deserve safer streets.”

Videographer Sarah Chaundler, who also attended the vigil, said: “On the day we learn a second 8 year old girl has died after a driver crashed into a school in Wimbledon, people across Birmingham joined @for_birmingham & the Hay Mills community to remember 12 year old Azaan Khan, who was killed by a driver 1 month ago.”

A poet, Ruben Whitter, who performed at the vigil, later wrote on Twitter: “I was getting so chocked up in this tribute to Azaan Khan - a tween who’s life was lost by a drunk driver in Hay Mills, Yardley, Birmingham - but it was worth it to help bring about social change of a systemic issue through poetry. Condolences. It was an honour.”

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