New pedestrian crossing built in busy road where schoolgirl was hit by bus
- Credit: Denise Bradley
A new pedestrian crossing has been built in a busy road where a schoolgirl was hit by a bus, losing part of her leg.
Laureate Community Academy has had major concerns about road safety in Exning Road, Newmarket, for many years - particularly after losing its school crossing patrol.
The road leads to Newmarket town centre and a busy industrial estate, meaning it is often full of cars and large lorries.
But matters came to a head in November 2019 when Evelina Kravale, who was 10 at the time, had to have part of her lower left leg amputated after being involved in a crash with a bus.
Headteacher David Perkins said the new puffin crossing is "going to make a massive difference to our families", even if temporary traffic lights had to be used when it first opened earlier this month.
He said that previously "parents have been having to fend for themselves".
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He added: "We've had concerns about road safety for many years.
"We worked closely with Suffolk County Council and they gave us a school crossing patrol.
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"But after the last one left they were unable to replace them and we've been without a crossing patrol for a couple of years.
"We have very limited parking around the school site, so 250 pupils have to walk from the local estates.
"A lot of our families have to try to get across but there's nowhere nearby that's safe.
"As well as the accident, there have been multiple near misses.
"We'd often get parents ask us why there wasn't a school crossing patrol any more."
Mr Perkins said Suffolk county councillors for the area had been very supportive about the need for the new puffin crossing.
Evelina's family said after the crash that they "can't believe what has happened".
However, they described the youngster as "our miracle" for her amazing recovery efforts and said she was "strong, positive and full of confidence".
A JustGiving appeal raised more than £20,000 for Evelina's rehabilitation, with Laureate Community Academy also holding a non-uniform day.
Mr Perkins described the fundraising efforts by pupils at the time as "truly humbling".