Drunken Leeds dad who 'ignored calls' to stop driving admits causing death of 12-year-old son on M62

A drunken father who ignored calls to stop driving has admitted causing the death of his 12-year-old boy after crashing on the M62 and both getting out to cross the live motorway.
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Matthew Rycroft was initially charged with causing or allowing the death of 12-year-old Callum Rycroft last month who was hit by a car as they tried to get across the lanes.

However, the charge has been amended to manslaughter, to which he formally pleaded guilty during a short hearing at Leeds Crown Court this afternoon.

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Appearing via video link, he also admitted dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen.

Callum Rycroft died on the M62. (pic by WYP / National World)Callum Rycroft died on the M62. (pic by WYP / National World)
Callum Rycroft died on the M62. (pic by WYP / National World)

A date is yet to be fixed for sentencing, but the 36-year-old of Nowell View, Harehills, was remanded in custody.

Callum Rycroft was killed on 5 August 2023, when a car struck him as he attempted to cross the M62 with his father. Callum, due to his disability, had no speed awareness and should have been under his father’s protection, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Matthew Rycroft had visited his parents in Huddersfield with his son Callum and had been drinking throughout the day. His parents urged him not to drive and offered him a place to stay overnight, but Rycroft refused and drove away.

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His parents called him and urged him to stop driving, but ignored them. Callum was heard in the background saying: “Dad… won’t stop.”

They also tried to follow him, but Rycroft ignored them, and his Audi was seen driving erratically in Huddersfield, before joining the M62 at junction 25.

Witnesses report seeing Rycroft swerve across lanes on the motorway before colliding with a crash barrier. Rycroft then managed to exit the motorway at Hartshead services, where he failed to negotiate a sharp bend on the slip road, before hitting the kerb and overturning the car.

Rycroft and Callum then began to walk toward the main carriageway. Callum called his mother, and dialled 999, but Rycroft told him to end the call. They were seen to cross the motorway to the central reservation, and then for an unknown reason tried to run back. Callum was struck by an oncoming vehicle and died instantly.