Lollipop lady's accident ordeal
By Ted JeoryA LOLLIPOP lady whose son was killed by a lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has spoken of her distress after she was struck by a car while leading children across the road.
By Ted Jeory
A LOLLIPOP lady whose son was killed by a lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has spoken of her distress after she was struck by a car while leading children across the road.
Doreen Fitt, of Canterbury Road, Colchester, said she was now more determined than ever to make sure pupils understood the perils that pedestrians faced.
Mrs Fitt, who has been a lollipop lady for 25 years, was taking children across the road outside St George's Infants School in Colchester on Thursday when the accident happened.
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The 53-year-old was involved in a collision with a car at about 8.45am and was taken to Colchester General Hospital for treatment after suffering bruising and back and pelvis injuries.
The accident came seven months after Victor Coates, 57, of Maidstone Road, Felixstowe, was jailed for four years for causing death of Mrs Fitt's son, Lee, by dangerous driving.
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Lee Fitt died after his car broke down on the A12 near Marks Tey in December 1999 and he was struck by Coates' lorry.
“When my husband heard that I'd been in an accident and taken to hospital, he was shattered - he just thought about what happened to our Lee,” said Mrs Fitt yesterday.
“I'd been seeing some children across the road when there was an accident between two cars. I asked someone if they wanted to borrow my mobile phone to call the police, but he said he was an off-duty policeman and he would deal with it.
“So I stood in the middle of the road with my sign then I just remember a lot of shouting and a look of horror on one of the dad's faces.
“A car reversed and collided with me. I lay there and tried to get up, but people were telling me to stay still.”
Mrs Fitt said doctors had told her to rest for a few days, but vowed nothing would stop her from going back to work.
“I love it too much to give it up. I've had so many kind cards and flowers sent by parents, children and school staff - they've been brilliant,” she added.
Mrs Fitt had been due to give a talk to pupils about road safety on the day of her accident and she said: “The talk I was going to give the kids is even more important now.”
Essex Police said no charges would be brought in connection with Thursday's accident.
As well as Coates' conviction for Lee Fitt's death, haulage manager Martin Graves, 40, of Felixstowe-based MJ Graves International, was jailed for four years for manslaughter.
A court heard Coates had been allowed to work for 20 hours prior to the accident without time for “quality sleep”.