Girls back at school after ‘traumatic’ A15 crash

Willow James and Molly Williams with Faye Nam, community fundraiser for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.'Photo: MSMP030614-005js.  EMN-140406-094016001
Willow James and Molly Williams with Faye Nam, community fundraiser for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.'Photo: MSMP030614-005js. EMN-140406-094016001
Have your say

A wave of support is still coming in for two girls who are back at school after a horrifying crash near their homes in Thurlby.

Willow James (11) and Molly Williams (12) spent about a month in hospital with head and abdominal injuries after they were hit by a minibus on the A15 on January 7.

They were coming home from school at Bourne Academy when the crash happened and both girls were airlifted to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, by Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

But since then, the girls have recovered enough to return to school where students and staff raised more than £1,760 for the life-saving charity through a non-uniform day and rock concert at Bourne’s Corn Exchange in April.

In a statement from Bourne Academy, Willow and Molly said: “We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the Air Ambulance and we are really thankful that they saved our lives.

“We also want to thank the doctors and paramedics who helped us at the scene and we are really happy that plans are being made for a crossing on the A15 at Northorpe.”

Headteacher Laurence Reilly said: “I am so pleased that Molly and Willow are now fully recovered from their traumatic experience.

“They are both delightful students who are a pleasure to teach.

“Seeing their smiling faces around school is a tonic for all of us and I am particularly pleased for their parents and families who must be very proud of the girls’ bravery during their fightback from being in critical condition to full fitness.”

Willow and Molly had the chance to say a personaal thank you to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance when they presented the cash raised by Bourne Academy students and staff to community fundraiser for the charity Faye Nam.

“We are delighted to see that Willow and Molly have both made a full recovery following their accident on January 7 when we airlifted them to hospital. We cannot thank Bourne Academy enough for supporting us and raising an amazing £1,762.78.”

Sally Crawford, deputy chief executive of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are all about getting to people quickly who need us and fundraising is an essential part of allowing is to do this.

“We wouldn’t be able to operate without people organising fundraising events and we are pleased there has been a good outcome for both girls and for those looking for the improvement of road safety.”

The girls’ ordeal led Thurlby mum-of-two Clare White (33) to mount a campaign for pedestrian crossings to be installed on the A15 in Thurlby and Northorpe, including a public meeting in Thurlby on Valentine’s Day in February.

More than 150 people packed Lawrance Park Community Hall for the meeting, including parish, district and county councillors, Brian Thompson, head of highways at Lincolnshire County Council, and Nick Boles MP, whose Grantham and Stamford constituency includes Thurlby and Northorpe.

Mr Boles said: “Firstly, I want to congratulate the students and staff of Bourne Academy for raising such a lot of money for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance which plays a critical role in saving lives.

“Secondly, I was delighted to be asked to attend the public meeting in Thurlby on February 14.

“Residents of the village made a powerful case for one or more crossings across the A15 and I will do everything I can to help ensure that people of all ages from Thurlby can cross the A15 safely in future.”

County highways officials have now cut the speed limit on the A15 in Thurlby from 60mph to 40mph and a pedestrian crossing is to be installed in nearby Northorpe after a traffic survey carried out by the county council in April.

Coun Helen Powell, whose county council ward of Bourne Castle includes both villages, said: “The whole of Thurlby and Northorpe has worked very hard and both sheer dedication and concern for those children who have to brave crossing a main road every day has paid off.”