TRAGIC: Archie Dunbar – 'A smile that would light up when he saw you'


By Cara Sulieman

A FIVE year old boy killed when he was hit by a lorry while cycling just yards from his house died “doing his favourite thing in the world” his parents said tonight (wed).

Jonathan and Michaela Dunbar, from Muirfield Drive in Gullane, East Lothian, said this had been his first summer of being allowed to ride his bike fully.

And they paid tribute to their caring, helpful child, Archie.

In a statement released through Lothian & Borders Police, they said: “Archie was a free little spirit with a mischievous nature, with big brown eyes and a smile that would light up when he saw you.

“He was meant to start Primary Two tomorrow (thurs), and was really looking forward to it. He always received glowing reports, and was very popular with his classmates and teachers.

“His caring nature meant that he would always try to help his classmates if they were having difficulty understanding something that he understood himself.

“He loved reading and playing on his computer, and he loved riding his bike. This was the first summer where he was able to have full use of his bike, and he was taken from us doing his favourite thing in the world.

“Archie was also fascinated by trains, and was so knowledgeable that he could recognise trains in the same way that people recognise cars.

“One of the best days of his life was a couple of years ago when we took the steam train from Drem to Waverley Station.

“He absolutely loved it that day.”

“His brother Fionnlagh and sister Skye are missing him terribly, and they keep talking about all the flowers that people have left outside the house.”

Dozens of tributes were laid yesterday in memory of Archie who died instantly when he was hit by the lorry at around 2pm on Tuesday.

He was thought to have been playing with his friend Jack on Muirfield Drive in Gullane at the time.

The street was quiet as neighbours came to lay down flowers in the sunshine.

Around 20 bouquets and vases of flowers lay on the grass verge next to the stretch of road where the child lost his life.

A small bunch of white tulips had a note written in child like writing attached to them.

It simply read: “Archie, love Jack.”

Members of the community gathered around the tributes said the token was from the boy who was with Archie when he was knocked down.

In amongst the floral tributes lay six teddies, sweets, and toys.

One child had coloured in a Thomas the Tank Engine drawing and written: “Archie you were fun to play with. Lots of love, Arren.”

And a Thomas the Tank Engine badge lay amongst the flowers with a note attached reading: “RIP little guy. Ryan and family.”

A CBeebies magazine lay next to a Marvel Heros comic and a picture of Frank Lampard in his Chelsea kit.

A Wispa bar and some popping sweets also lay in amongst the tributes.

Many of the people leaving tributes to the little boy didn’t know him that well but stood and read the messages of love.

Stephen Fulton, 21, said that he had wanted to come and show his support for the family.

As he placed a small bouquet down, he added: “He was well known by quite a few folk around about here. I didn’t know him very well but he was always a polite lad.

“It’s the family I feel sorry for. The only thing we can do is be here for them if they need us.”

Pam Gardner, 43, another neighbour, had come to look at the growing number of tributes.

She said: “I just think it’s really tragic. We’re all gutted – everyone is feeling it.

“You just wouldn’t think something like that would happen here – it’s such a quiet street.

“There are so many tributes already but I definitely think it will get bigger. It’s such a tragic waste of life.”

Pam was joined by friends Christopher Fozard, 17, Kieran Robson, 16 and Ben Longdon, 17, who had come to pay their respects to Archie.

Kieran said: “We had just come back from Edinburgh and we saw the wreckage a few hours after it happened.

“When we found out what it was that had happened we were very sad.

“It’s awful for the family but also for everyone who was involved. The lorry driver must feel terrible – as far as I know it wasn’t their fault.

“Jack’s going to have it the worst though. He had to stand and watch everything.”

The mood on the street was sombre despite the blazing sunshine as members of the community stood in huddles around the scene.

Some looked as though they were fighting back tears and were too upset to speak about the tragic accident.

Others would only say that it was a “tragedy” and that Archie would be “sadly missed” as they made their way back to their houses after laying down their tributes.

Tonight police were still at the family home helping them come to terms with their loss.

The family’s statement concluded: “Everyone who lives here knew Archie, because he was the kind of person who would say hello to everybody.

“We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has left flowers outside, we really do appreciate it, and we know that he will be missed be everyone who knew him.”

Police are understood to have spoken with the lorry driver involved in what was thought to have been a tragic accident.