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Shock and sadness of Lowestoft motorist

PUBLISHED: 09:50 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010

THE Lowestoft motorist involved in a horrific crash in which schoolchildren were seriously injured has spoken of her shock and sadness this week.

The 40-year-old woman, who has not been named, was driving through Worlingham on Friday, when her car, a blue Nissan, was involved in a collision with a group of pedestrians including schoolchildren.

THE Lowestoft motorist involved in a horrific crash in which schoolchildren were seriously injured has spoken of her shock and sadness this week.

The 40-year-old woman, who has not been named, was driving through Worlingham on Friday, when her car, a blue Nissan, was involved in a collision with a group of pedestrians including schoolchildren.

Although she was not prepared to talk about the horrifying incident, which has left her stunned and shaken, she said: “I am very shocked and very sad.”

She was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and has been bailed to return to Lowestoft police station on November 6. Meanwhile, a man pinned under the car has said it was a miracle no one was killed.

Beccles man Richard Calver was on his way to the funeral of his school friend at All Saints' Church when he was struck by the car, trapping him underneath with a wheel jammed against his chest.

The horrific scene also saw eight pupils from Worlingham Middle School hospitalised, including Macy Roberts and Olivia Li, both of whom were found seriously injured beneath the car.

Police this week said several people had acted heroically in the aftermath and Mr Calver has also been hailed for his part.

Witnesses recalled how he pushed some of the children out of the way, yet in an interview with The Journal he played down his role.

“I didn't realise straight away there were kids under the car till someone said, I was dazed and shocked. The only thing I really remember was being up on the bonnet and then under the front wheel on the driver's side.

“I was traumatised just trying to work out what was going on. I've only got what other eyewitnesses have told me that I was pushing kids out of the car's way with my legs and arms, but it all happened so fast.”

In a bizarre coincidence the 21-year-old said he knew some of the children involved in the crash because they had been pupils at the Beccles branch of Kook Sol Won, where he had previously been a first degree black belt.

He said: “I parked up on the other side of the road and I did say 'Hello' to a couple of them I recognised. I was on my way to Nathan (Beglarian's) funeral.

“It was pandemonium. The mourners came to help, the fire service, ambulance service, they were all there.”

The smash occurred shortly before the funeral of Nathan Beglarian was due to begin, a 21-year-old who was killed during a road accident at Hulver last month.

As mourners were about to enter the church, the service was temporarily halted as a group jumped over the wall to pull the car off Mr Calver and the children, which mounted the pavement from the opposite side of Lowestoft Road.

Many of them stayed to support the victims, alongside residents, until six ambulance crews, four fire crews, an RAF helicopter and Sea King helicopters arrived.

One man said at the scene: “I just heard this sound like traffic cones going under the car, then I looked round and there was a man trapped underneath the wheel. The guy was halfway under the car. We picked the car up and got three or four children from underneath the car.”

A female teacher and teaching assistant, who had been accompanying the class on a geography trip round the village were unhurt.

Three children were taken to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, with serious injuries, including Olivia who has two broken legs, a broken collarbone and a chipped bone in her wrist.

Macy, who had whiplash and burns and two more children were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Two more were treated at Beccles Hospital and 12 for shock at the scene.

Mr Calver was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where doctors said that apart from cuts, bruises and a tyre mark on his chest, he had no broken bones.

“It could have been worse, it could have been much worse. I'm just so thankful no one was killed, it was a total miracle.”

He is now recovering at home after being given two weeks off work from his job at Seppings the Butchers in Blyburgate, Beccles, to recover, but said the mental scars would take a longer time to heal.

“I think that's going to be the worse bit, the bruises, bumps and grazes will heal quite quickly, but the mental side of it will take some time. The w­orse bit for me was lying on the ground not being able to move and hearing the children screaming in pain, all I could hear was screams.

“I plan to go and see the kids in time but I want to let them get sorted out, I don't want to rush in, it's not fair on them.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “There were a lot of people who did heroic things in the early stages of the crash before the emergency services arrived and we would like to thank them for their support and assistance.”

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