Mother 'screamed in horror' as daughter, 7, killed in collision with lorry outside home

2 November 2022, 22:55

Eloise Jackson died after the "tragic collision"
Eloise Jackson died after the "tragic collision". Picture: Wiltshire Police

By Kit Heren

A mother screamed in horror after her young daughter cycled into a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) outside their rural home, an inquest has heard.

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Eloise Jackson, 7, had only recently learned how to ride a bike at the time of the fatal collision with the lorry just metres outside her front door in the Wiltshire village of Collingwood Ducis on July 13 last year.

Her mother Laura told the coroner that she screamed and ran after Eloise as she cycled away from her down the hill and into the HGV, which was carrying 26 tonnes of plastic powder.

She said: "Eloise hopped on her bike despite me telling her not to. I was yelling and screaming. I went to the end of the road and came face to face with a lady who said 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.'

"All the traffic stopped and I started screaming for someone to call an ambulance."

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Eloise died later that night in hospital, suffering from massive contusions to her left side, extensive traumatic injuries and significant abdominal bruising,

Her death has sparked calls from the local community and MP for HGVs to be rerouted away from the area, and given a new speed limit.

A family friend told the inquest that HGVs were "totally inappropriate" for the roads in the area.

Philip Palmer said: "The largest vehicle anticipated when these roads were made was a big horse and cart, not these six axle HGVs."

Ms Jackson and Eloise were coming back from a recreation ground near their house, where they lived with Eloise's father James and older sister Analis, as the fatal accident happened.

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Ms Jackson said: "The recreation field was just a two-minute walk away from our house.

"She was so happy riding on the recreation ground. I was always by her side but wanted her to be more independent."

Despite Ms Jackson telling Eloise not to ride off, the seven-year-old sped ahead, before colliding with the HGV, which was going past the junction outside the family home.

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HGV driver Rodney Motonga, travelling at 12mph, was not at fault, the inquest ruled. A statement from Mr Motonga read out at the inquest said: "I to this day do not know how the collision happened."

PC Stephen Fair, police collision investigator, said that it was a "tragic collision".

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He said: "The HGV started moving forward before the collision. It was not travelling more than 12 miles per hour.

"For an unknown reason [Eloise] did not stop. She collided with the wheel and tyre of the vehicle."

Collingbournes Road Safety Working Group is a campaign working to reduce speed and the amount of HGVs using the A338 road through the villages of Collingbourne Ducis and Collingbourne Kingston.

The group has backing from Eloise’s Army, a project set up by Laura Jackson to raise funds, campaign, and honour Eloise’s memory. Danny Kruger, the MP for Devizes, is also supporting the campaign and asked the government to ban HGVs from using the A338.