"I was screaming." Mum relives ordeal after daughter Olivia Langley killed in street in pushchair

Louise Uffindell with her daughter Olivia Langley

Louise Uffindell with her daughter Olivia Langley

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The mother of a three-year-old girl has spoken of her horror after her daughter died when a gust of wind blew her pushchair into the path of a reversing van.

Olivia Langley's mother Louise Uffindell picked her up from under the van outside their home in Woburn Close, Croydon, and tried to resuscitate her.

But the girl never regained consciousness and died of severe head injuries at St George's Hospital, Tooting, later that day.

In a statement read out at the inquest into her daughter's death held yesterday Miss Uffindell, a nursery nurse, said: "I was getting myself and Olivia ready for school unusually we were running a bit late so I decided to take her in the pushchair.

"She preferred to be pushed than walking I did not strap her into her pushchair because she's quite big for it and she would often jump in and out.

"I remembered I had to check the gas meter to see if I needed to get more credit so I left Olivia sitting outside in her pushchair, I did not put her brake on.

"I was only inside the flat for a few moments when I heard an unusual noise, I cannot explain the noise, I did not know what it was it got my attention and made me rushed out the flat when I got out of the flat both Olivia and the buggy were in the road.

"Not on the pavement, in the road.

"My immediate reaction was just to get her out of the road and pick her up and I was screaming."

The driver of the van, Clinton Jackson, told the inquest at Croydon Coroner's court he did not see Olivia in her pushchair when he began to reverse during the incident at about 8.45am on March 25 last year.

And he only noticed her when her mother came out and picked her up in her arms.

The delivery driver, whose birthday was the day of the tragedy, said: I have must have been driving at one mile an hour and as I started to reverse I felt a touch, it did not feel like a bump.

"I stopped and as I stopped Olivia's mum came out and she was hysterical."

He phoned 999 and passed on instructions to Miss Uffindell how to clear Olivia's airway and attempt to resuscitate her.

But nothing could be done to save the life of her daughter.

Collision investigator Mark Crouch told the court the likelihood is Olivia's pushchair had been blown completely into a blind spot of Mr Jackson's vehicle.

One of his wing mirrors was partially smashed but it did not contribute to the crash, the inquest heard.

Olivia's dad Stewart Langley asked him at the inquest why he had driven with a smashed wing mirror.

It is not exactly known which bit of the delivery van hit Olivia but Mr Crouch said the most likely scenario is the front near side wheel ran over her.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Dr Roy Palmer said: "I'm so very sorry that you lost Olivia in such sad circumstances.

"It is a great shame that the brake wasn't on the buggy, whether that would have a made difference, who knows, it was extremely windy that day."

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree