Joanne recovers after ordeal

BRAVE Joanne Cowie is back home with her Ipswich family today after a trip to an ice cream van nearly came to a tragic end.

BRAVE Joanne Cowie is back home with her Ipswich family today after a trip to an ice cream van nearly came to a tragic end.

The ten-year-old popped out of her house in Burns Road on Sunday to get her sister a lolly, but realised she didn't have enough money when she got to the vehicle.

When she turned to run back, she was in collision with a car, which knocked her onto the pavement.

As she lay screaming on the floor with a deep gash in her head, her family raced into the street to comfort her and feared she had suffered serious injuries.

The Whitton Primary School pupil was taken to Ipswich Hospital on a spinal board at around 4pm, but was released later that day after having stitches put in her wound.

The youngster today told The Evening Star how she took the ordeal in her stride - and even blamed herself for the accident.

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She said: “I think it was all my fault. I forgot to look before I crossed the road. It wasn't the driver's fault.”

She added: “I only felt a little sting on the back of my head and I had pins and needles in my right foot.”

But her family are still recovering from the worry that her injuries could have far worse.

Her older sister, Tara, 18, said: “I asked my little sister to go to the ice cream van. Then I heard a car skid and a big thud.

“I ran out and she was lying there screaming. It was horrible. My mum and dad came running out and were trying to calm her down. My dad's face went white.

“I was shaking and my heart was pounding. It was the worst thing I have ever had to go through.”

Her father, Nigel Cowie, 47, said he had been allowed home early yesterday from work as a lorry driver for the East of England Co-op because he was still coming to terms with his daughter's lucky escape.

He said: “I was worried about her having spinal injuries. We covered her up and made sure she was conscious. I was just thinking about her. Nothing else was in my head at that time.”

Mr Cowie said he was happy it was a “simple accident” but said more needed to be done to slow traffic down.

Should more be done to reduce traffic speed in residential areas? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

See Star opinion, page four.