Bedside vigil for teenage crash victim

A FAMILY have told of their bedside vigil for a teenage girl who was left fighting for her after a horror crash.

A FAMILY have told of their bedside vigil for a teenage girl who was left fighting for her after a horror crash.

Anna Wilkinson spent her 18th birthday last Thursday in intensive care, where she still remains, after she suffered life-threatening injuries in a two-car collision on the A1017 near Haverhill on February 8.

Speaking from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, her stepfather Mark Crichton-Maitland described hearing the news as every family's worst nightmare and told of the moment Anna “was lost” and brought back to life.

“Anna suffered breaks to both her arms, broke the femur and tibia in her right leg, broke her left leg, fractured her pelvis and suffered numerous other injuries including a collapsed lung,” he said.

She has already been through operations and plastic surgery but thankfully we have been told she did not suffer brain or spinal damage,” he said.

Anna, an A-level student at the Perse School in Cambridge, was travelling in a Renault Clio from her home in Clare when a collision took place between her car and a silver VW Sharan.

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Travelling just behind her were Anna's younger brother and sister and mother Melanie - a teacher at The Perse School - who were the first to witness the carnage of the crash scene.

Mr Crichton-Maitland said: “We had all left the house at about the same time last Monday and were travelling in the same direction.

“I was immediately behind Anna and had only just turned off the Haverhill bypass when it happened. I arrived about a minute after my wife to witness the terrible scene.”

He praised emergency services, especially the Medical Charity Magpas who were on the scene within minutes.

Firefighters from Haverhill and Wickhambrook were forced to cut open the car to release Anna before paramedics anaesthetised her and took her to hospital.

“They lost her in the ambulance on the way to Addenbrookes but got her back again at the hospital.

“When she arrived the doctors told us to prepare for the worst but she is still with us and we have now been told she will make a full recovery, although this could be months or even years away,” he said.

Anna, who works weekends at Waitrose in Trumpington Road, Cambridge, was due to take her A-Levels this summer before taking a gap year to travel the world. On her return she was planning to go to the London School of Economics to study history.

“However long it takes we will be having a big party when Anna comes home,” said Mr Chricton-Maitland.

“All the family, including her sister Lucinda (13) and brothers Michael (14) and Jack (16) have been here as long as the doctors will allow.

“She has taken a slight turn for the worst and will be undergoing a tracheotomy for a collapsed lung but despite this she has opened her eyes and squeezed our fingers so we know she is getting stronger and making her recovery.”

Police are still urging witnesses to come forward as they try to piece together the details of the collision. The incident took place on the A1017 at 7.15am on Monday February 8.

A man released from the VW suffered chest and pelvic injuries and was taken to Addenbrooke's for further treatment.

Anyone with information should call Pc Ian Jepp at the Bury St Edmunds Roads Policing Unit on 01284 7741400.