Car crashes spark call for safety measures

ROAD SMASH ... on Leam Lane eastbound towards South Shields.
ROAD SMASH ... on Leam Lane eastbound towards South Shields.

THE mother of a little girl seriously injured in a road accident wants to see new safety measures put in place to help avert future collisions.

The call comes after a four-car accident yesterday morning in Jarrow’s Leam Lane, to the west of the Lindisfarne Roundabout, left a woman injured and caused huge tailbacks.

That crash followed a five-car collision on the east side of the roundabout on Tuesday, March 4.

A four-year-old South Shields girl suffered serious head injuries in the March crash, necessitating an emergency operation.

She had to have part of her skull removed as doctors tried to reduce pressure on her brain and is still being treated at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The section of skull she had taken out might not be replaced for another sixth months until after her condition stabilises.

Her mother, who does not want to be named, said: “This is the second accident on that stretch of road in a month, and someone should be taking a long, hard look at how safe it is.

“I don’t know if a speed camera would be a solution, but something has to be done.”

Her daughter was strapped into in a child seat in the family’s stationary Volkswagen Golf when it was hit from behind by another vehicle.

The mother said: “The left-hand side of her skull has been removed, and she only has limited use of the whole right side of her body.

“She’s obviously not allowed home, and I’ve been at the hospital with her since March 4.

“The doctors and nurses have been fantastic, but no one can say she will fully recover from this.

“The plan at the moment is that they replace the missing piece of her skull in six months, when the pressure on her brain has reduced.

“That will mean another operation and another period of rehabilitation. Her recovery could take a year, and we have no idea what the long-term prospects are.”

A man was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

A 53-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after yesterday’s crash, at about 8.25am.

The injured woman was taken to hospital. Police say her injuries are not life-threatening.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Road safety is an important issue for the council and we are constantly assessing road traffic accident information to give us a clearer picture of the hazards involved on the borough’s roads.

“We have been made aware of the serious incident that occurred at the Lindisfarne Roundabout on Friday morning, and our Highways and Traffic Services teams will look closely at the accident data to see if any immediate works need to be delivered.

“The council is in the process of considering a major improvements scheme for the junction at Lindisfarne Roundabout, and it will hopefully be delivered in the near future as part of the Local Transport Plan.”

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