Community mourns tragic six-year-old

A SUFFOLK community is in mourning today after the death of their six-year-old girl.Samantha Castledine, of Spashett Road in Lowestoft, was cycling to Gunton Primary School in the town with a family member when she was involved in a collision with a 17-tonne lorry.

A SUFFOLK community is in mourning today after the death of their six-year-old girl.

Samantha Castledine, of Spashett Road in Lowestoft, was cycling to Gunton Primary School in the town with a family member when she was involved in a collision with a 17-tonne lorry.

As news spread of her death, tearful school friends and their parents arrived at the scene - on the A12 Yarmouth Road at the junction of Hollingsworth Road - to pay their respects by laying flowers, cards and cuddly toys.

Education psychologists were on hand to comfort Samantha's classmates today.

In a statement Samantha's headteacher, Sue Barrett, said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family at this very sad time.

“As headteacher, my priority now is to support our children. We have educational psychologists at the school to help us do this and they will stay with us for as long as we need them.”

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Mrs Barrett faced the difficult task of breaking the news of Samantha's death to pupils at the school, in Gainsborough Drive, following the crash at around 8.40am yesterday.

Suffolk police spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: “Samantha was on her bike being taken to school by a family member, who was also on a bike, when she was in collision with a 17-tonne Volvo lorry while she was waiting to cross the road.

“The little girl was taken to the James Paget Hospital with multiple injuries, but despite efforts to resuscitate her, she died a short time later.

“The road was closed until just after 1pm. The lorry driver and his adult son were also taken to hospital for treatment for shock.”

It is believed Samantha and her relative were waiting on their bikes at the central reservation on Yarmouth Road shortly before the collision.

Yesterday afternoon, parents said that while the busy road was patrolled by a lollipop man, extra safety measures needed to be taken to ensure the tragedy was not repeated.

Amanda Swan, mother of eight-year-old Andrew and Caitlin, five, said: “I saw the little girl laying there and it was horrific. The other children are really sad and have been sobbing their eyes out.”

Lisa Rutland, 39, who has a seven-year-old son, said highways chiefs must look at the safety of the road.

She said: “It's horrendous trying to cross this road and scary when you've got little ones with you. The obvious answer is to have a pedestrian crossing put there.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said officers would work closely with the Highways Agency and police to see if safety improvements were needed.

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