Hospitalised pensioner appeals for help

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Hospitalised pensioner appeals for help

19th August 2009

A Biggleswade widow who was knocked down whilst shopping has made an appeal from her hospital bed for witnesses to come forward.

Joan Pitts, of Laburnum Road, has been unable to leave hospital since she was hit by the lorry and left with horrific injuries earlier this year. The 81-year-old was crossing the road when the large vehicle set off and ran her over, fracturing her arm and literally tearing the skin from both of her legs.

Now Mrs Pitts, who is being treated at Stevenage's Lister Hospital, is hoping people who witnessed the incident on the morning of 30 January will come forward and help in her fight for compensation.

"I had decided to go into Biggleswade to do some shopping," said Mrs Pitts, who is not due to be discharged from hospital for several weeks. "After I'd been to the Asda supermarket I had to cross the main road - High Street - to get to another shop."

Mrs Pitts said she walked through the town's Market Square as she headed to the Iceland store on the other side of the road. "When I got to the pavement I could see a large lorry parked opposite," she said. "I remember the lorry driver was out of his cab talking to someone who was standing next to a black car. There was no other traffic about, and even though it was a one-way street I still checked both directions to make sure it was clear."

Mrs Pitts stepped out into the road, and noticed the lorry driver continuing to talk with the other man as he got into the cab of his vehicle. She was about half way across the road when she was struck by the lorry.

"I remember letting out a small scream and then a second, much louder scream," she said. "I screamed so loudly I must have been heard all through Biggleswade."

"I remember my shopping trolley was thrown away from me, my handbag went one way and my walking stick went the other," she said. "The next thing I remember was someone coming up to place their coat over me as I lay in the road."

Polly Fletcher, a personal injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP - representing Mrs Pitts - said she was lucky to have escaped the incident with her life.

"Initially the doctors advised Mrs Pitts' family that she may not survive," said Ms Fletcher. "She suffered a serious de-gloving injury to her right and left legs, where the skin is effectively torn from the body. Both legs required skin-grafts, she suffered a broken right arm and a variety of other contusions and injuries.

"Considering Mrs Pitts' age it's quite amazing that she's coping as well as she is," Ms Fletcher said. "Before the accident, she was independent, mobile and living in her own home, but due to the serious nature of the injuries - and likely permanent disabilities - she will need a lot of care in the future.

"That's why it's vital that witnesses come forward to help Mrs Pitts with her claim for compensation."

Ms Fletcher said that despite numerous appeals by the police, the person who was seen talking with the lorry driver by a black car had still not been traced.

"We also want to speak to the person who ran into the nearby chemist and alerted others to the fact that Mrs Pitts had been injured," she said. "This lady has been through a tremendous ordeal, and it is only fair that she receives the compensation to which she is entitled."

Can you help?
If you remember seeing the accident at around 10.30am on Friday, 30 January 2009, please contact Polly Fletcher at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0161 238 6402.