Girl, 10, hurt in ‘accident waiting to happen’

Amy Samson
Amy Samson

A 10-year-old girl was left with her leg broken in two places after being hit by a car as she crossed the road outside her school - just yards from her home.

Amy Samson stepped out between parked vehicles outside Northlands Wood Primary School in Beech Hill, Haywards Heath, when the accident happened. Mum Edit Samson said this week: “I saw Amy lying on the ground and imagined the worst.”

Dad John added: “We are very fortunate that she was not injured to a greater degree. Although this appears to be Amy’s ‘fault’ and not the driver’s, her vision was obscured by the parked cars. Time and time again we see inconsiderate parking outside the school.”

And that, he said, was despite the efforts of Northlands Wood headteacher Gavin Oulton who has been long campaigning for parents to park considerately.

However, now new safety measures are being implemented following talks between the school, West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex District Council.

Meanwhile, Amy’s mum Edit, recalled the moment she first heard what had happened. “One of the other mums came running and told me Amy had been hit by a car. I saw Amy lying on the ground and imagined the worst. At that point I didn’t know how badly injured she was. Amy didn’t cry, but just said ‘it hurts, it hurts’ and told me not to cry. She’s a very brave girl.”

Calling for a zebra crossing to be installed, dad John said: “This was an accident waiting to happen.” He added: “Several parents attended to Amy on the scene and comforted her and my wife. We cannot thank them enough.” And, he said: “I would also like to offer our support to the parent driver who was unfortunately involved and hope that she is OK as it must have been very upsetting for her too.”

Headmaster Gavin Oulton said that the school had been reviewing road safety with the county and district councils and improvements were now being planned. One was to provide a crossing point outside the school which included lowering kerbs, adjusting pedestrian guard-railing and installing new bollards.

He said a review of congestion around Northlands Avenue would soon be open for public consultation. “This review takes in Beech Hill and plans to extend the school’s ‘keep clear’ area with an enforceable parking restriction to protect the crossing point and improve pedestrian visibility.

“We also work closely with Mid Sussex District Council in relation to parking enforcement in the area.”