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Darren Booth - a parent and teacher's husband - dies after elderly driver ploughs through St Leonard's College fence in Brighton East

A father has died after an elderly woman picking up a grandchild allegedly lost control of her car and ploughed through a bayside school's fence.

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St Leonard's College in mourning after fatal crash

Students are being offered counselling after Tuesday's crash in Brighton East, where an elderly driver allegedly lost control of her car before fatally striking a man.

Paramedics were called to the crash at St Leonard's College in Brighton East at 4.20pm on Tuesday.

Darren Booth, a father of two girls at the school, and the husband of junior school teacher Michelle Booth, died at the scene.

Principal Stuart Davis stood at the school gates on Wednesday morning greeting students and parents only metres from where Mr Booth was killed. 

In a statement sent to the school community later on Wednesday morning, he confirmed that Mr Booth, the father of year six student Sophie and year two student Ava had been killed.


"On behalf of the entire College community I have extended our heartfelt sympathies to Michelle, Sophie and Ava, and to all of Darren's family and friends.

"We ask that you respect the privacy of the Booth family at this incredibly difficult time, and direct any communications through me via your Head of School.

"As you'll appreciate it can be difficult to share this information with large groups of students, and so we encourage you to speak with your child(ren) about the accident this evening.

He said counselling was available for students and staff.

"We are mindful that the identification of the family affected by this tragedy may exacerbate or cause new feelings of trauma and stress.

"Our counselling and chaplaincy teams continue to provide support to our students and staff. If you have any concerns for yourself or your child we encourage you to contact the Counsellor of your child's section."

He said it appeared the elderly driver had mounted a kerb in the school drop-off zone in Ratho Avenue, before careering through a small gap in the front fence and entering the school yard, where Mr Booth was killed. 

The car travelled about 12 metres from the kerb, and tyre marks could be seen stretching almost two metres inside the school yard.

Bouquets of flowers were piled nearby on Wednesday morning, left by parents who held their children's hands on the way to school, and held each other on the way home. 

"This school is part of a remarkably close-knit community," Mr Davis said. 

"Most parents live locally and know each other. 

"The main message from them today has been 'what can I do to help?'"

Mr Davis said that although the accident happened about 45 minutes after senior students left for the day, there were still several students participating in after-school programs. 

He said he did not know whether the grandmother frequently collected children from the school, but said many students were sometimes collected by grandparents. 

Police had not yet given him any indication how the grandmother may have lost control, he said.

She is assisting police with their inquiries, and was released overnight.

The school is on a quiet suburban street with large houses behind immaculate gardens and picket fences.

Elettra Normington, who lives four doors down from the scene, said it could have been much worse as children frequently used the road.

"I mean at that time of the day, my kids ride their bikes, kids are walking home from school, and parents are picking up children from school," she said.

Ms Normington said it was "quite scary".

Neil Mummery, who lives two doors down from the school, said the pick-up arrangement was an accident waiting to happen.

"The very worst time of the day here is 3.30pm," he said.

"What happens in the street is that you have got the turning zone here, and the traffic just piles up here ... cars turn into our driveway.

Mr Mummery said they always feared a school kid would get hit by a car.

"It is such a small, narrow street and so much traffic at that time of the day," he said.

"Kids walk across the street ... and the cars are coming down ... it is bedlam.

"But this is the last thing I expected. It is probably very lucky it was after the very busy time, otherwise there would be a lot more people coming through the gates back there."