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Tuesday, 4 January, 2000, 21:57 GMT
Family distraught as lorry crushes child

A mother watched in horror as a lorry collided with her two-year-old daughter in a pram and crushed her against a wall, inflicting serious injuries which later killed her.

A police spokeswoman said the child had been sitting in a pushchair next to her mother, who was waiting for a relative outside a pharmacy in Faversham, Kent.

The girl, from Broadstairs, died in hospital an hour after the collision at 1256 GMT. A fire service spokesman said firefighters were called to free the toddler, who was trapped between a Mercedes box van and a wall outside the pharmacy.

She was rushed into the Cottage Hospital, which is in the same street as the chemists, with life-threatening injuries.

After being assessed in its minor injuries unit, the girl was transferred by ambulance to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury, where she died.

Investigators at scene

A hospital spokesman said: "I can confirm that the girl has died from her injuries. Her family are absolutely distraught.

"This is a very unfortunate and distressing situation for everyone, particularly for those that were involved at the hospital."

The police spokeswoman said specialist police crash investigators are still working at the scene to determine exactly what happened.

She added: "It is believed the mother and daughter were visiting relatives in Faversham and were waiting for a relative, who was inside when the tragedy happened."

A 31-year-old man, from Maidstone, who was driving the lorry, escaped uninjured, but was treated for shock at the scene.

The spokeswoman said a man has been arrested and is being held in custody at Sittingbourne police station for questioning.

Witnesses wanted

He added that several witnesses to the incident have already come forward.

Officers will question them and examine video footage from CCTV cameras in Faversham town centre as soon as possible.

However, Inspector Richard Watson, of Swale Police, who attended the scene, has appealed for any other witnesses, particularly a car driver who could be a key witness, to come forward.

He said: "This is a terrible tragedy and we are anxious to find out exactly what happened.

"We would urge anyone who can help us to contact us as soon as possible and in particular we want to talk to the driver of a car seen leaving the car park as the incident happened."

Anyone with information should call Swale Police on 01795 477055.

A post-mortem will be carried out, although this is not expected to take place on Monday.

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