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Toddler in ‘critical but stable’ condition after crash outside Swaffham school

The crash happened near the Sacred Heart Convent School. Picture: Google Street View

The crash happened near the Sacred Heart Convent School. Picture: Google Street View

Archant

A two-year-old girl who was airlifted to hospital after a two-vehicle crash remains in a critical but stable condition.

Parents and children watched in horror as a blue Ford Focus and blue Chevrolet Lacetti collided on Mangate Street, Swaffham, just before 3.30pm yesterday.

The injured toddler had serious and internal head injuries and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after the crash, near to the Sacred Heart Convent School.

It is believed one car was being driven by a parent and was turning into the school while the other car was travelling along Norwich Road with a father and his three young children.

The injured girl was a passenger in the Ford while the driver of the Chevrolet, a man in 40s, was treated for chest pain.

A police spokesman said the girl was in a critical but stable condition, and appealed for witnesses to the crash to come forward.

The accident had been described on social media as “every parent’s nightmare”.

Sister Francis Ridler, head of Sacred Heart Convent School, said: “The police and ambulance crews were quickly on the premises to assist at the scene and school staff were at hand to give help to the families involved.

“The thoughts and prayers of the school are with the families involved.”

Last night, people in the area told of their safety concerns for youngsters using the road. Vanessa Scott, owner of Strattons Hotel in Swaffham, said that drivers often speed down the narrow street, although there’s nothing at this stage to suggest speed was an issue in the latest smash.

“It is a real shame but people do speed down it, although there are traffic lights and signs telling you to go at 30mph and then 20mph. You see more and more of it, people just trying to run the lights,” she said. “It is unfortunate because it is a built-up area and on one side you have a churchyard and the other the school.

“It is so sad and I hope the child is going to be alright.”

Meanwhile, resident Sheila Lister, said: “It is a dangerous stretch of road - people come down that road like a bat out of hell. I think we should protect our children - there aren’t even any crossings on the road to help them cross when they come out of school.

“That poor little girl - I hope she makes a speedy recovery.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service sent one crew from Watton to help in the aftermath of the crash. The East of England Ambulance Trust also sent an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance officer.

Anne Thorp, deputy mayor for the town, said that her thoughts and prayers were with the family.

“On behalf of the council we would like to wish the young girl a speedy recovery. We don’t want anybody to be hurt on our roads and it is very sad when it happens.

“We do sincerely wish her a speedy recovery, and our thoughts and prayers are of course with her and her family.”

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has information concerning the driving manner of both vehicles prior to the collision.

Anyone with information should contact PC William George at Swaffham Roads Policing on 101.

Do you think that there are traffic problems on Mangate Street? Let us know by emailing lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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