Miracle girl’s family bid to curb speed on main Brookenby road

14-year-old Donna Sleight is recovering from her injuries after being hit by a car at Brookenby in July.

14-year-old Donna Sleight is recovering from her injuries after being hit by a car at Brookenby in July.

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THE family of a ‘miracle’ girl given just a five per cent chance of survival after being in a collision with a car in a village near Louth are calling for the speed limit on the road to be reduced.

Fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Donna Sleight was out on her bicycle when she was in a collision with a silver Volkswagen Passat outside her home on Swinhope Road at around 3.50pm on Monday, July 23.

After being rushed to Grimsby Hospital and then Sheffield Children’s Hospital with critical head injuries and being put in intensive care, doctors warned Donna’s family that she had little chance of survival.

But amazingly the youngster, who is starting at Cordeaux School in Louth in September, pulled through and is now back at home and on the road to recovery.

Donna is now scarred on her chin and head after the accident and had stitches on her tongue, she also has swelling around the brain which is fortunately no longer at a dangerous level, and has bruised arms and legs.

But her family say she is still on track to begin school for the new term early next month.

Donna’s sister and guardian, Abigail Binns, told the Leader that the family are extremely thankful that the driver of the car, a 49-year-old man, was driving well below the speed limit at the time of the incident.

”Donna was lucky, a miracle. The driver was doing 38mph, if he had have been doing 40mph, crash scene investigators and doctors say she would have been dead instantly,” she said.

“Donna is still not eating properly and we believe she may have some damage to her optical nerve, but this is just a case of waiting over the next few months as her body recovers to see the extent and if there is any permenant damage.”

Village residents were so concerned when they heard of the accident that they held morning prayers at the St. Michael and All Angels Church in Brookenby, and sent scores of cards and teddies for Donna.

And her family are now focusing their efforts on getting the speed limit on Swinhope Road, the main road through the village, reduced by half from 60mph to 30mph, in order to stop a repeat of what was so nearly a tragedy.

The family argue that the sheer number of children living on the road, its residential nature, and the amount of bus stops and grass areas where pedestrians gather, mean a speed reduction is a must.

According to numerous road safety reports, the chances of a pedestrian being killed in a collision with a car double at 40mph when compared to a 30mph impact.

And a driver travelling at 40mph would slow down to only 38mph if they spotted a pedestrian in the road 100 feet ahead, but would have completely stopped if they had been driving at 25mph.

Lincolnshire County Council have hinted that the family’s hope of a reduced speed limit could come to fruition in the near future.

Alan Aistrup, head of highways at the council, said: “We are actively reviewing the speed limit on Swinhope Road in Brookenby, and we hope to come to a decision over the next few weeks.”

People can view and sign Abi's petition to reduce the speed limit online by logging on to http://www.causes.com/actions/1672676 and entering their details.

l Do you think the county council should reduce the speed limit on Swinhope Road? Let us know your views by emailing sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.