Child killed in horrific crash

Source: Wiltshire
Date: July 27, 2000

POLICE are hunting a hit and run driver in a blue Mercedes after an horrific crash in which a five-year-old girl from Calne was killed and her six-year-old brother was left fighting for his life.

Two men from Melksham were also killed in the crash.

The missing Mercedes, which sped off after the accident, overtook a Ford Escort being driven by the family from Calne, and a lorry heading towards Chippenham on the A350 between West Ashton crossroads and Yarnbrook roundabout, near Trowbridge, at 8.15pm on Tuesday, July 25.

The Mercedes was on the other side of the road when it met a white Toyota MR2, driven by the two men from Melksham, coming the other way.

The Mercedes forced the MR2 to swerve, the MR2 hit the Escort, sending it into a ditch at the side of the road. The MR2 flipped on to its roof and burst into flames.

Two men who had been following in a Peugeot 306 borrowed a fire extinguisher from a nearby petrol station to put out the fire to try and rescue the men inside the MR2 but they were beaten back by the flames.

Firefighters from Trowbridge, Westbury and Bradford on Avon rushed to the scene.

Crews later found the bodies of the two men, aged 21 and 23, inside the wreckage. The 23-year-old was due to celebrate his birthday yesterday.

Firefighters fought to free the trapped Calne family, who had been returning from visiting relatives in Somerset. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene. Her brother was rushed to the Royal United Hospital in Bath with serious spinal injuries.

He underwent a seven-hour operation and was later transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital's intensive care unit, where last night he was said to be very poorly.

The children's parents, a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, were treated for cuts and bruises at the RUH.

Police said they would be in hospital for three or four days. The parents have been told of their daughter's death and their son's condition and are being comforted by relatives.

The A350 was closed for six hours while police studied the accident scene and examined the cars involved. All of the damaged cars have been taken away for forensic examination. The families of the two Melksham men visited the scene to lay wreaths yesterday.

Chief Insp Peter Russ, who is leading the hunt for the missing car, said it was vital that witnesses come forward to help track it down.

He said: This was a high speed collision but we do not know exactly how fast they were going.

Obviously everyone involved is devastated. We are treating this as a very serious collision and investigating the criminal culpability of the Mercedes driver.''

Police are appealing for anyone driving a Mercedes on the A350 on Tuesday night to come forward.

Chief Insp Russ added: We would appeal to the driver of the Mercedes to please contact us. We are aware you may not know the full implications of your actions.''