Dad feared daughter would die in his arms

A pub landlord today told how he feared his daughter was dying in front of him after she was allegedly hit by a drink driver.

IPSWICH: A pub landlord today told how he feared his daughter was dying in front of him after she was allegedly hit by a drink driver.

Trevor Hammett, licensee of the Horse and Groom in Woodbridge Road, heard the collision outside the pub around 9.50pm on December 19.

However, he only realised his 19-year-old daughter Laura was injured when her friend Pamela Whittaker, who had given her a lift home, dashed into the pub to tell him.

Mr Hammett, 48, said: “I heard the bang. Pamela said 'your daughter has been knocked down'. I ran outside and shouted for my wife.

“Laura was just lying there. Pamela was holding her and there was another boy helping.

“I was terrified. Laura was in the road lying just in front of the car. I feared the worst.”

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Mr Hammett said the former Holywells High School pupil was unconscious, but seemed to be having some sort of fit.

He said: “She was throwing herself about. It was terrible.”

A couple came to help and put a blanket around Laura to keep her warm, until paramedics arrived to take her to Ipswich Hospital.

Mr Hammett said: “I went in the ambulance with her to hospital. The hospital staff sedated Laura because she didn't know what she was doing. She was throwing her arms around. They said Laura's brain was bruised.”

Doctors rang Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, which specialises in head injuries, to see what should be done.

It was decided to transfer Laura to Addenbrooke's due the severity of her condition, which also included suspected spinal injuries.

Mr Hammett said: “When the lady came back and said they were taking Laura to Addenbrooke's to monitor her brain I knew she was alive, but I thought she might be brain damaged for life.”

The following afternoon Mr Hammett and his wife, Christine, were told Laura had been brought out of sedation.

He said: “It was just a feeling of sheer elation. We were very happy. As soon as she saw us she said she wanted to come home.”

“It's great to have her back. We would like to thank all the doctors and nurses at Ipswich and Addenbrooke's hospitals, and especially thank Pamela and all those who help Laura.”

Jonathan Jeffris, 24, of Silk Street, Ipswich, has been charged with dangerous driving, drink-driving, driving without due care and attention, and driving without valid insurance, in relation to the incident. He will appear before magistrates in Ipswich on January 8.