A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl is fighting for her life after being knocked down at a zebra crossing outside a city primary.
The child is said to be in a critical condition in the Sick Kids hospital after the accident near Ferryhill Primary School at around 12.30pm yesterday.
It also emerged today that a council investigation is under way into why the lollipop man for Groathill Road North was not on duty as scheduled yesterday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses told how a white Renault Clio bearing P plates struck the girl. Police are investigating, but no charges have been brought against the driver.
Speaking at the scene, a man, who declined to be identified, said the girl lay “motionless” after the accident.
“When the driver got out of the car, she claimed that she never saw the child due to the sun,” the man said.
A nearby resident, Tracey Harari, 37, said: “I got an awful shock when I looked out of the window and saw the ambulance and police cars as my eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were due home. I hope the little girl is OK.”
Residents say they have campaigned for 18 months to reduce the speed limit on the road to 20mph.
Tom Hart, 80, said: “The road is used as a rat run between Ferry Road and Telford Road and all manner of traffic just bomb along it.
“That whole crossing has been an accident waiting to happen. I’ve no idea where the lollipop guy was as he’s there every other day. Most of the time motorists are on to the crossing before they even know it’s there.”
Transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds, whose own children attend the school, said she would investigate the circumstances around the accident.
“My assumption would be that a lollipop man would be there whenever the school is used. I will personally be looking into this matter,” she said.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to the accident to come forward.
Road Policing Sergeant Brian Smith said: “We are still trying to piece together the full circumstances that resulted in this collision and are urging members of the public to assist with our investigation.
“The area is next to a primary school and it is likely there were a number of people around who may have seen what happened.
“Anyone with information that can help with our inquiries is asked to contact police immediately.”
A council spokeswoman added: “We are aware of an incident involving a Ferryhill Primary School pupil. We are looking into the circumstance and a police investigation is under way.”
The crossing on the road was only installed in May 2008 after a resident-led campaign.