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Plea for witnesses to help tragic Chloe’s five-year fight for justice
The mother of a young Crewe girl left brain damaged after she was knocked over outside her school five years ago, has made an appeal for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
The girl - Chloe - was just 11 when she was hit by a van as she crossed Ruskin Road on her way to Ruskin Sports and Languages College. The accident, on 10 February 2004, left the happy, bright and conscientious young pupil suffering from memory loss, headaches, vomiting, anger management issues, loss of her sense of smell and partial loss of sight in one eye.
Now, more than five years later, Chloe and her mother are still fighting for compensation after the injuries she sustained left her able to only occasionally attend school and forced mum Nichola to stop work in order to look after her.
"She was always such a happy little girl," said Nichola, 37, "but from the moment that van hit her, she was a different person. When she woke up in the hospital she had no recollection of being hit by the van, but it soon became clear that the head injury had badly affected more than just her memory."
Nichola was forced to give up work to care for Chloe, whose symptoms continued to worsen. "Chloe suffers from spells where she is just completely vacant and her personality changes totally," she said. "She now has no sense of smell, she suffered a loss of peripheral vision in her right eye, and she is unable to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Her injury has meant she can only manage attending school for short periods of time, she has no friends or social life whatsoever.
"What happened on that day took my little girl from me, but also took her independence from her," said Nichola.
Daniel Lee, the personal injury specialist lawyer representing Chloe, said the family urgently needed anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward, if they are to receive the compensation they are entitled to.
"Chloe was dropped off on Ruskin Road at around 8.45 on the morning of Tuesday, 10 February 2004," said Mr Lee, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP. "She recalls being on the pavement and seeing friends arrive in a car behind her. That is the last recollection she has before waking up in the hospital."
Mr Lee said that Chloe was struck by a white Bedford Rascal van as she made her way across Ruskin Road to the college. "We have unconfirmed reports that when the van hit Chloe, the impact was so forceful that the windscreen smashed in a 'bullseye' effect," he said. "What we desperately need is the people who witnessed this incident to come forward and make formal statements so that Chloe can get the care she needs.
"Chloe was wearing a navy blue uniform and carrying a rucksack with reflective strips when the van collided with her," said Mr Lee. "We believe there were several people around at the time who might have witnessed the incident. We know a teaching assistant from the college came to the scene and performed first aid on Chloe, and we are anxious to trace her whereabouts.
"This witness could have vital information to help Chloe's case," said Mr Lee. "We also believe a young boy and his sister - both thought to be pupils of the school - were present at the time and assisted Chloe at the scene. We urgently want to talk to them, or anyone else who was in the area and witnessed the incident."
Nichola said that while five years have passed since the incident, Chloe and her family have to live with the consequences each day. "If anyone remembers anything or saw what happened on that morning, please come forward and help my daughter," she said.
If you witnessed this incident or can help in any way, please contact Daniel Lee at Fentons Solicitors on 0161 238 6478, or e-mail Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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