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On Friday 28 February 2020, Clarke collected his children from their grandmother’s home in Middleton. Clarke arrived to collect the children in his car which was not insured, and the tyres were below the legal limit.
The rear of his car collided with a Highways Iveco Tipper Van that was stationary on the hard shoulder. The collision caused extensive damage to the back of the car where Blake was sat.
Despite the best efforts of members of the public and Emergency Services, Blake sadly died from his injuries. Mason suffered from minor injuries along with the Highways worker, who was in the Tipper van at the time, they were both taken to hospital.
Leon Clarke (23/04/1982) of Red Lane, Rochdale pleaded guilty to causing his son, Blake's death by careless driving, whilst over the limit for drugs and also uninsured.
In a tribute to Blake, his mother Vicky said: “Blake was cheeky, he was the joker, he was popular, and he was very clever, he had a bright future. Blake was sensitive, affectionate, protective of Mason, his friends and me. He loved school, so much so he couldn’t wait to get back to School on that Monday. He loved his friends, which he had from nursery. He enjoyed street dance, computer games and Lego. Blake loved life and loved his family.
"Having been told by the hospital that Blake had died and seeing Mason with minor injuries. I couldn’t understand how one of my children was okay and the other was dead.
"On the day of Blake’s funeral, he was lay in his coffin. I knew this would be the last time I would see Blake, kiss him and touch his skin. I was screaming, shouting at him “Please Blake, please wake up for mummy.”
"Blake and Mason didn’t get a choice or a chance that day after they left their nanas, all the choices were made for them by their dad who they were both excited to see. My boys didn’t stand a chance. Now I live in a continuous nightmare that I’m yet to wake from. Mason has lost his best friend and I have lost my beautiful son, and the life and love I once had."