Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Girl badly hurt in freak car crash

A schoolgirl remains in intensive care after a freak car accident at a primary school apparently caused by a driver's coughing fit.

Eight other people - a school lollipop lady, the driver of the car, two other adults and four children - were injured in the incident.

Residents in the village of Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, witnessed the crash. Anxious parents ran with their children in alarm after hearing a loud bang at 8.55am, which many took to be a gunshot.

It was in fact an Audi driven by a 61-year-old man, named locally as Robert Bell, who was said to have suffered a coughing fit at the wheel. He is believed to have lost control of the car and it landed on its roof. The lollipop lady was named locally as Karin Williams.

A nine-year-old girl remains in a serious condition in paediatric intensive care at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales.

Mr Bell is still helping police with their inquiries. He was among those injured in the collision and is understood to have been ferrying his grandchild to the Fontgary Road school at the time.

Local councillor Jeffrey James described what he claimed was the cause of the accident. He was quickly on the scene and spoke to emergency services staff soon after.

"The driver has apparently said he had a coughing fit and hit the accelerator instead of the brake and lurched, hitting the crossing attendant and the children waiting to cross or starting to cross," he said. "He must have swerved and then tipped over the car. It was on its roof."

Superintendent Joe Ruddy, of South Wales Police, refused to confirm reports of what could have caused the accident, adding: "It is too early to say at this stage of the investigation."

He said it was not being treated as "a deliberate act", but he said the vehicle had been seized and was undergoing forensic examination. He appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph