The Wokingham Paper

Emergency services praised for fast response after nine-year-old injured in road accident


EMERGENCY services have been praised for the way in which they assisted a schoolgirl who was injured in a road accident in Earley last week.

The incident took place around 8.50am in Church Road on Tuesday, March 26, and saw a nine-year-old pupil from Earley St Peter’s School suffer a head injury after being struck by a car.

A spokesperson for South Central Ambulance Service told GetReading that they had received multiple 999 calls and they had sent a Thames Valley Air Ambulance Critical Care Car to the scene.

They added: “The patient was a nine-year-old female who had sustained a head injury and after initial treatment at the scene, she was then taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.”

And Maiden Erlegh councillor David Chopping (Conservative) was one of the first on the scene as he was conducting a traffic controlling exercise with the police at Loddon Primary School when the call came through.

He said: “I was very, very impressed by the speed of the response of the ambulance and the way in which police handled everything.”

He added that his thoughts were with the injured girl and that the school had reminded pupils about safe ways to cross roads.

And a Wokingham Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are obviously with the young girl, her family, the school community and all those involved in this incident.

“We cannot speculate on how it happened before any official report.”

But there have been calls for the council to look again at its policy of removing school crossing patrollers. Some were axed two years ago and the rest last year, much to the anger of parents.

Earley St Peter’s School lost its patroller, John Pink, in 2017. At the time, he criticised Wokingham Borough Council’s decision to axe him after 15 years’ service, saying it was disgraceful, while parents at the school had warned that heavy traffic on the road meant a crossing patroller was needed.

Speaking to The Wokingham Paper, Cllr Clive Jones, the Liberal Democrat councillor for nearby Hawkedon, said: “We have great sympathy for the girl and her family. This will be a traumatic time for them. We hope she makes a full recovery.

“It does show the need for Wokingham Borough Council to have school crossing patrollers. The Liberal Democrats’ budget amendment a few weeks’ ago proposed that they should be brought back where people wanted them, but the Conservatives voted against and, even sadder, Labour abstained and refused to support us.

“Had there been a school crossing patroller here, this might not have happened.”

He added that the party was also pushing for a dedicated traffic warden for Earley “to help educate people about how to park around schools”.

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