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Joy as road crash boy comes home

AN OVERJOYED family are set to celebrate Christmas like never before after their son returned home from hospital following a horrific road accident.

AN OVERJOYED family are set to celebrate Christmas like never before after their son returned home from hospital following a horrific road accident.

Samuel Riding was left fighting for his life when a car ploughed into a bus shelter on Harwood Road, Rishton, four weeks ago.

But the brave 11-year-old has beaten all the odds and is now back at the family home in The Esplanade, Rishton, after making a remarkable recovery at Pendlebury Children's Hospital, Manchester.

His delighted grandmother Mrs Olive Howard, who lives in nearby Coniston Way, said: "It is wonderful to have him home. He has been back a few days and we are just trying to pick up the pieces now."

Samuel was waiting for a bus to take him to St Wilfrid's High School, Black-burn, when the nightmare accident happened.

His grandad Fred Howard, who had given Samuel a lift to the bus stop earlier that morning, said: "He remembers waiting with his pass in his hand as the bus came up the road. He can't remember anything else about the accident. But we have been told he was still clutching his bus pass for dear life afterwards."

Samuel, a Year 7 pupil, suffered multiple head injuries. He was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary and then transferred to Pendlebury due to the severity of his injuries.

Mrs Howard continued: "He was on a life support machine and had to be sedated. His mum and dad never left his bedside.

"If one of them wasn't there the other was. We have all just had to put out lives on hold. You cannot tell anyone what it was like. It certainly puts everything into perspective and it is going to be a long process until he is back to himself again.

"He is going to need treatment for a few years but the main thing is he is back with us and he is adjusting to everything again. He is a strong boy."

His parents Julie, a civil servant, and Peter, who works as an electrician, are thrilled that their son has returned home in time for Christmas. His brother Joseph, aged eight, said: "It is good that he is home again. We have all missed him."

The family have asked to thank everyone who helped Samuel during his ordeal.

Mrs Howard said: "We were told a nurse dashed out of her house to help him and the bus driver got out and held Samuel until the ambulance arrived. He was shaking apparently. They did a wonderful job.

"We would also like to thank the police who were absolutely marvellous with us. They gave us all the information and came to the hospital with us. One of the officers, Keith Jackson, was brilliant.

"The bigger kids from St Wilfrid's organised the smaller ones after the accident. Some went to the next bus stop to say there was no bus coming through."

Two other schoolchildren suffered minor injuries in the incident. The car driver, James Andrew Dean, 18, of Lindadale Avenue, Accrington, has been interviewed by police who are currently compiling a file to send to the Crown Prosecution Service which will decide what action, if any, should be taken.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist