Crash tragedy vicar praises community

The rector of a Suffolk church has told of how proud she is of the way a community has pulled together after a party of school children were involved in an horrific road accident with a car.

The rector of a Suffolk church has told of how proud she is of the way a community has pulled together after a party of school children were involved in an horrific road accident with a car.

The Revd Suzie Ellis, rector of All Saints Church in Worlingham, told of how the shocking events unfolded following the accident which happened in Worlingham on Friday.

Of nine children taken to hospital after a blue Nissan car was in collision with them near All Saints Church, Lowestoft Road, shortly before 2pm, five were still in hospital last night.

The class of Year Five pupils were on a supervised walk around the village and were on the pavement when the crash happened.

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Six ambulance crews, firefighters, and an RAF helicopter were sent to the scene where a nearby funeral service was temporarily halted as mourners rushed to help free those trapped under the car. A man on his way to the funeral was one of those injured.

The Revd Ellis was preparing to conduct the funeral service for 21-year-old Nathan Beglarian, who had recently died in a car crash, when the incident took place.

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She said: “There were hundreds of people waiting because it was shortly before the hearse was due to arrive. A lot of people were in the churchyard and lining the road waiting to pay their respects.

“When it happened obviously everybody rushed forward. As I went round afterwards people were deeply shocked. One young man said he had grabbed a girl and pulled her out of the way. As you can imagine there was a lot of confusion.

“The mourners lifted the car off to free the people who were trapped - they were very close friends of Nathan's.

“It was very frightening for the children and some were hysterical. The first little girl I came across was sobbing and said my friend is under that car and she is dead. Thankfully the friend wasn't. But none-the-less that little girl was in deep shock. I personally will never forget the sight of eight children and one young man lying on the grass verge and the children screaming.”

Mrs Ellis said it was particularly distressing for Mr Beglarian's family, as he was himself a road accident victim, to learn what had happened.

“I offered any support that I could,” said Mrs Ellis. “I met the family in the churchyard and took them through what was happening and reassured them that none of the children had been critically injured.” The funeral was delayed while the emergency services tended to the injured but later went ahead.

Mrs Ellis added: “The main concern now is for the children who are still in hospital. I will be going to visit a couple of them who are likely to be in hospital a bit longer when they are a bit better.

“I have just been so proud of the community, the school and the emergency services - they were just all brilliant. Everybody was so concerned and so anxious. There was a real sense of the community pulling together and of community spirit.”

BLOB: A 40-year-old woman from Lowestoft who was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving has been released on police bail and is due to return to Lowestoft police station on November 6.

Suffolk police are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with any information about the crash to contact PC Paul Carr of the serious collision investigation team on 01473 613500.

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