Crossing crash in Welwyn Garden City 'something out of horror film'

PUBLISHED: 16:15 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:15 16 November 2016

Lauren Johnson in her full length cast.

Lauren Johnson in her full length cast.

Archant

The parents of an eight-year-old girl have told the Welwyn Hatfield Times how her life has changed since she suffered horrific injuries after an accident on a road crossing.

Lauren Johnson x-ray of her broken leg.Lauren Johnson x-ray of her broken leg.

While walking to school, with her mum and sister Ellie, Lauren Johnson, of Amethyst Walk, was hit by a car while crossing at a traffic lights in Broadwater Road.

The accident happened on Monday, February 1.

Lauren’s right leg was badly broken and she has since suffered extreme panic attacks and fears of crossing roads and of cars. Stacey, 36, Lauren’s mum, said: “The green man was showing on the traffic light so we assumed it was safe to cross. We got half way across the road and out of the corner of my eye I saw the car coming and screamed at the girls to get back.

“As I pulled Lauren back she turned to face me. I couldn’t pull her back quick enough.

“She slid down by the wheel and just screamed.

“It looked like something out of a horror film, her leg was just hanging in a weird position.”

After emergency services arrived the Peartree Primary School pupil, who was seven at the time, was taken to Lister Hospital and went straight into an emergency operation.

Arran, 34, Lauren’s dad, said: “They didn’t know the extent of her injuries. We had to fill out a form for the list of things that could go wrong and Stacey just broke down. For three hours during the operation, we were worrying that something would go wrong and how it would affect her life.”

Lauren had three operations in total, around 20 stitches, has been left with three prominent scars and was wheelchair-bound for five months with a full cast on her leg.

Arran said: “She was too scared to walk because she was so worried that if she put pressure on the leg it would snap. We had to work on her mindset that she could do it.

“She had chronic nightmares and she sometimes still has them.

“The psychological damage was massive. She was really outgoing and bubbly before. It’s knocked her confidence which, as a parent, is heartbreaking to watch.”

Lauren said: “It has changed my life a lot. I’m getting better but I feel like I’m not safe crossing a road any more even by traffic lights. I don’t trust people in cars now.”

The Welwyn Garden City man, who was driving a Renault Clio when he collided with Lauren, pleaded guilty in October to driving without due care and attention and was fined £375, had to pay costs of £85 and was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for nine months.

Arran said: “We’re gutted with the sentence served. His sentence isn’t justice for my daughter.

“People need to slow down and be careful while driving. There is no concern for people crossing roads.

“Please be aware of children going to school.”

On the morning of the accident a woman stopped to help the family and comfort them in their time of need. Lauren has made a card for this woman and the family are keen to show their thanks. If this was you please contact sophie.blackman@whtimes.co.uk if you would like to be put in touch with the family.

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