Child accidents numbers too high

MORE must be done to keep children safe on the roads, councillors will be told today. Members of the Suffolk County Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet to discuss a report into the number of accidents where children are killed or injured.

MORE must be done to keep children safe on the roads, councillors will be told today.

Members of the Suffolk County Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet to discuss a report into the number of accidents where children are killed or injured.

The report comes just a day after three-year-old Jayden Dodds was hit by a car and suffered head injuries in Station Street, Ipswich.

The youngster, from Littles Crescent, was taken to Ipswich hospital following the accident.

Last year saw a sharp increase in the number of child road accidents in Suffolk to 56 but the report does partly blame this on a few unusual accidents. Previous years have seen the figure stay within 50.

In May 2003, teenage friends Scott Towler and Dean Bloomfield died when they were mown down by drug-addict Zulfcar Ali. Ali, who had taken a cocktail of drugs before driving, was sentenced to ten years for manslaughter.

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A six-year-old girl also died last year after the bike she was riding was hit by a coach in Landseer Road, Ipswich and three children died when the car they were travelling in was involved in a collision and landed in a water-filled ditch on the A1101 near Mildenhall.

Since 1990, the number of child road accidents has largely been on the decline, but there was a rise from 40 in 1999 to 44 in 2001.

The report says generally the trend has been good, but councillors will still be told more must be done.

The report has found that twice as many boys have been involved in accidents and between 4pm and 5pm are the most dangerous times.

Weekends and the summer months are also key times when children are involved in road accidents.

David Chenery, of Suffolk County Council said efforts to reduce speed limits to 20mph outside schools in Ipswich were already paying off and there could be future plans to introduce these limits elsewhere in the county.

More than 30 per cent of all Suffolk's child accidents happen in Ipswich.

What do you think? What more needs to be done to prevent accidents? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

OUTRAGED parents of a toddler who was the victim of a hit and run driver have told how his eight-year-old sister saved him.

As revealed in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, mum Michelle Dodds and step dad Darren Hall, of Littles Crescent, Ipswich, told of the moment three-year-old Jayden was carried home by his eight-year-old sister Brieanna.

Mrs Dodds said: "They went to the park at around 6.30pm and had to cross the road but they have been told to use the crossing.

"The car just came and smacked into him as they crossed the road on Station Street."

"His sister picked him up and brought him home, I could hear her screaming as she came up the street, and I've never heard a child scream like that before. He was very disorientated.

"Where we live all the children play together and they look out for each other and a couple of girls aged around 15 came back to the house with him and his sister. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing when they told me the story of what had happened.

"We phoned for an ambulance because he was complaining of a leg injury and he was bleeding from the head, he was hysterical."

Jayden was rushed to Ipswich hospital shortly after incident last night and spent the night there. He suffered from head injuries and minor scratches.

When Mrs Dodds asked what she would like to say to the people responsible for hitting a toddler and driving away she said: "We want them to come forward and take their punishment. He is just three-years-old and has never hurt anybody. Next time they could kill somebody. I think it was a lucky escape. Last night in hospital when he went to sleep I sat there and cried because I couldn't believe how lucky he was.

"He is just a boisterous little boy, a typical three-year-old."

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