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Local News

Woman dies decade after being hit by car as driver yelled ‘stupid child’

today02/04/2021

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A 20-year-old woman who died nearly a decade after being hit by a car died due to complications of a traumatic brain injury, her inquest has heard.

Amy Leanne Reynard was just 12-years-old when she was struck by a car on November 10, 2011, while out playing with her friends near her home in Rotherham.

During the second day of Amy’s inquest, held yesterday at Sheffield‘s Medico Legal Centre, her mum Carol Levers told the court that Amy had been with her friends after school when one of them had run across the road and nearly into the path of an oncoming car.

Carol told the court that, in a statement made after the accident, the driver of the car admitted she had been looking behind her and shouting “you stupid child” when Amy stepped into the road and was hit at a speed of between 40 and 52mph.

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Immediately after the crash, Amy was taken to Rotherham General Hospital but was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where she had the first of some 50 operations over the course of a year.

Amy Reynard before she was hit by a car in 2011. She was 12-years-old when the tragic accident happened
Amy Reynard before she was hit by a car in 2011. She was 12-years-old when the tragic accident happened
(Image: Family handout)

The inquest heard that, in the days after the crash, a police sergeant had attended the family home and told them that the actions of the driver amounted to “driving without due care and attention” and Carol told Assistant Coroner Tanyka Rawden that she could not understand why a criminal prosecution was not brought against them.

Due to the impact of the crash, Amy had suffered a traumatic brain injury which left her a quadriplegic and suffering from epilepsy.

However, Amy was eventually discharged from Sheffield Children’s Hospital and admitted to a specialist rehabilitation centre for nine months where she was said to be engaging with her rehab and making good progress.

But the inquest heard that, due to Amy’s brain injury, she was unable to eat normally and so was being fed through an intravenous drip known as ‘parenteral nutrition’.

The court heard from Amy’s doctor, Dr Ching Lam, who said it was hoped Amy could eventually be moved onto PEG feeding, which involves placing a feeding tube directly into the stomach, as parenteral nutrition was not a suitable solution for long-term feeding.

In October 2018 an unsuccessful attempt was made to switch Amy over to PEG feeding, followed by a second failed attempt in February 2019. Dr Lam said the attempts were “limited by abdominal discomfort, pain and constipation.”

However, Dr Lam told the court it was still not considered suitable to keep Amy on parenteral nutrition long-term as intravenous feeding carries a heightened risk of infection, as well as osteoporosis and diabetes.

The court also heard from Professor Mark McAlindon, a consultant gastroenterologist, who said there had been “many attempts” to move Amy onto PEG feeding but that later attempts caused Amy distress and were not successful, therefore TPN (total parenteral nutrition) continued indefinitely.

In the years preceding her death, Amy was admitted to hospital in Rotherham and Sheffield multiple times due to various conditions including recurrent chest infections, water retention and a skin rash which was later diagnosed as a symptom of sarcoidosis, an disease where inflamed tissues affect the internal organs.

Despite these difficulties, Carol told the inquest she did not believe Amy was deteriorating in the years after the accident and said that a paediatric neurologist had told the family Amy “would probably live 30 to 35 years” after the accident.

“She was strong, she was laughing and smiling along in her therapies”, Carol told Mrs Rawden.

But on October 29, 2019, Amy was admitted to Rotherham General Hospital with another suspected chest infection and was transferred to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, where she remained until she sadly died on January 22 2020.

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Mrs Rawden recorded a shortform verdict that Amy had died due to a road traffic collision.

She told the court: “Amy died at the Northern General Hospital as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and a traumatic brain injury sustained during a road traffic collision.”

Carol told the inquest it had been “very hard looking back at the battle” that she and Amy’s family had during her stays in hospital and that she was “glad” the car crash all those years prior is what was recorded as her daughter’s cause of death.

Recalling the circumstances surrounding the crash, Carol said her beloved daughter was “not very streetwise” and that her friends would be allowed to stay out until past 9pm, while Amy had to be home at 7.30pm.

“She was only 12. If she was a bit more streetwise, perhaps she wouldn’t have been hit by a car,” Carol said.

She described her daughter as “kind” and “generous” and said before her accident, she had been very active and loved dancing, art and playing the guitar.

Mrs Rawden concluded the inquest by passing on her condolences to Amy’s family.

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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