Eight children injured as car hits school party

Author: By Brian Farmer and Rosa Silverman, Press Association

Some of the youngsters were said to be critically injured following the
accident in Worlingham, Suffolk – one was said to have broken legs.

The children were all aged nine and pupils at Worlingham Middle School – about
half a mile from the scene of the accident.

School head Mike Croft said the youngsters were year five pupils on a
supervised walk aimed at introducing them to the local area.

He said around 20 pupils – plus a female teacher and female teaching assistant
– were walking past the village church on a pavement when the accident
happened at shortly before 2pm.

Mr Croft said both members of staff were “badly shocked”, a 21-year-old man on
his way to a funeral at All Saints church was also hurt and a number of
other children suffered minor injuries.

Police said the car involved was a Nissan and a 40-year-old woman was being
questioned after being arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Paramedics said some youngsters were “critically” hurt.

Police said one child had broken legs.

Mr Croft said the victims were being treated at hospitals in Norwich and
Gorleston, Norfolk.

“They were all nine. They had just started at the school a couple of weeks ago
– they are our intake of millennium babies,” said Mr Croft.

“I don’t think there are any life threatening injuries but I don’t know. There
were eight children taken to hospital. Two of them have minor injuries.

“They were accompanied by a teacher and a teaching assistant. Both ladies.
They are badly shocked.”

He added: “From what I understand, whilst near the church, a car ran into the
back of the group.

“They were just walking around. We tend to get children from a wide area and
we do this with the new intake every year so they get to know the village.
It’s something we always do.

“I understand they were just going along the pavement.

“When I got there, there was mayhem.”

He said two of the victims had been airlifted to hospital in a RAF Sea King
helicopter.

“It looked awful,” he said.

“But the emergency crews were absolutely brilliant. They had a group with each
child. It was very, very impressive and we’re grateful to them.”

Mr Croft added: “One or two of the other children had some slight injuries.
They were checked, then taken home by their parents.”

He said teachers had informed children at the school – which has around 340
pupils aged between nine and 13 – and specialist counsellors had been called
in.

“We immediately put our critical incident plan into use, providing staff and
information for the emergency services, and we informed the local
authority,” he added.

“Parents were informed as quickly as possible. Counsellors were called to the
scene and subsequently attended the school. They will also be attending the
school on Monday.

“We already understand how shocked the local community is and we have received
messages of support.”

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