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07th Jul 2023

Police officer in tears as she announces tragic death of girl, 8, in school crash

Jack Peat

The horrific incident took place on Thursday morning

A police officer broke down in tears as she confirmed the tragic death of an eight-year-old girl in the horrific crash in Wimbledon on Thursday morning.

Clair Kelland, the Met Police PC Commander for South West London, was visibly emotional as she made the announcement in front of the media, with ambulance and fire representatives present too.

Police were called to The Study Preparatory School on Camp Road just before 10am after a Land Rover collided with one of the southwest London school’s buildings.

A woman in her 40s has since been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the crash, which saw 15 people injured and one person – an eight-year-old girl – killed.

Speaking to the media outside the school, Clair Kelland fought back tears as she revealed details of the incident.

She said: “We were called shortly before 10am after a car collided with a building at the Study Prep school on Camp road.

“A large number of our officers were deployed to the scene, along with paramedics from the London Air Ambulance and London Ambulance Service.

“Our officers, alongside colleagues from other emergency services, provided first aid to a number of people who had been injured.

Her voice began to crack as she continued: “Very sadly, an eight-year-old girl died at the scene. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly difficult time.”

The head of the board of governors at the school, John Tucker, said: “As you’ll perhaps appreciate, the school community is profoundly affected by this tragedy”.

The school has so far declined to comment further.

Mr Tucker was stood next to the school’s headmistress Helen Lowe, who could be seen to be holding hands with head mistress-elect Sharon Maher.

John Martin from the London Ambulance Service said: “We dispatched multiple resources including specialist critical care paramedics, London’s air ambulance and 15 ambulances.

“We declared a major incident. We treated 16 patients on scene. Sadly, as we’ve heard, one eight-year-old girl died.”

Downing Street has also released a statement, saying: “The Prime Minister’s deepest condolences are with the family of the girl who has tragically lost her life. His thoughts are with all those injured and involved in the horrific collision in Wimbledon this morning.

“This will have been a terrifying experience for all of the children, staff and parents.”

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