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Boy Struck by Responding U.K. Ambulance

BATH, U.K. -- An 11-year-old Bath schoolboy who was seriously injured after being hit by an ambulance responding to a 999 call is making an impressive recovery. People throughout the city have taken the plight of 11-year-old George Jenkins to their hearts after he was knocked down crossing London Road.

The Year 7 Ralph Allen pupil suffered a serious head injury in the horrific incident at the junction with Snow Hill, which was witnessed by some of his schoolfriends.

But despite initial concerns about his condition, doctors are pleased with his progress and he is now awake and talking to his family.

His mother Nanette, who lives in Fairfield Park and has been at her son's bedside at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol since the accident, told the Chronicle that he was doing well. She said: "George is making good progress. We would like to thank all the medical staff who are caring for him at Frenchay, and the many people who have sent their love and supported the family during this difficult time."

George's head teacher Libby Lee said the community was rallying round to wish him a full recovery.

She said her school was providing support for his fellow students, particularly those who were there at the time of the incident.

St Stephen's Church vicar the Rev Philip Hawthorn said parishioners and pupils at George's former school St Stephen's Primary were all praying for him to get better.

Councillors Paul Fox and Lisa Brett (Lib Dem, Walcot) said staff and volunteers at the Gateway community centre close to the incident scene had offered help on the night itself and in the days since.

In a joint email, they said: "Witnesses of the accident, many of whom were schoolchildren, were naturally shaken. "Staff and volunteers were able to offer people a warm drink to assist in recovery from shock, a listening and sympathetic ear, and encouragement to contact friends and relatives. People are continuing to call into the Gateway Centre to discuss the impact the accident has had on them."

The pair also said the incident raised concerns about safety on London Road, particularly when traffic built up and pedestrians and cyclists were sharing space with cars and lorries.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened when George was walking home from school at around 4pm last Thursday.

The ambulance was responding to a 999 call to a vehicle fire on the A46 near Swainswick and was travelling on the wrong side of the road when it hit George.

He was initially taken to the Royal United Hospital, but later transferred to Frenchay for specialist treatment.

Representatives from South Western Ambulance Service have met George's family to talk about what happened and have pledged to fully cooperate with police.

A spokeswoman said: "We have met with the family and we are co-operating with the police investigation, to find out what exactly happened and to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We are also supporting the staff involved in the incident to make sure they have everything they need to cope with what happened."

Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward and contact them on the non-emergency number 101. ? For the latest updates on George's progress visit www.thisisbath.co.uk



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