Tuesday, 27 Feb 2024

Woman, 81, in coma after being hit by Duchess of Edinburgh's police escort

An elderly woman who was hit by a police motorbike escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh is in a coma, her family has said.

Helen Holland, from Birchanger in Essex, was struck by Sophie’s motorcade shortly before 3.30pm on Wednesday in Earls Court, west London.

The 81-year-old was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and her family have said she is now in a coma.

Son Martin and daughter-in-law Lisa-Marie Holland told the BBC they were ‘shocked and sickened at her extensive injuries’.

‘She is being well cared for by the NHS who we must thank deeply for their help in keeping her alive,’ they told the broadcaster.

The report stated they are ‘calling for a thorough investigation’.

Ms Holland had been visiting her sister when the accident happened on the corner of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road.

On Thursday, Buckingham Palace said Sophie is ‘grateful for the swift response by the emergency services’, adding that she will ‘keep abreast of developments’.

In a statement, the palace said: ‘The duchess’s heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family.

‘She is grateful for the swift response by the emergency services and will keep abreast of developments.

‘Further comment at this time would not be appropriate while the incident is being investigated.’

Martin Hennessy, 62, who lives close to the scene of the accident and came out shortly after to walk his dogs said it looked as if Ms Holland ‘thrown across the road’.

He said the council had been warned the junction was dangerous and people had died there because pedestrians were forced into the road to check for traffic.

‘She’s lucky to be alive at all,’ he told The Mirror. ‘The road is a nightmare. We’ve warned the council about it. There have been three people killed here.’

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a pedestrian was taken to hospital and that she remains in a critical condition.

On Wednesday evening, police said no other injuries were reported and inquiries into the crash were ongoing.

The force said the Directorate of Professional Standards, which investigates officers’ conduct, has been informed as is routine.

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