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GIRL DIES: Larkmead pupil suffered severe injuries in bike crash
AN 11-year-old schoolgirl last night died after suffering serious head injuries in a crash in Abingdon.
Ty-Ree Partridge was cycling home from Larkmead School’s science club when she and a van collided in Copenhagen Drive on Wednesday night.
She suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital but passed away last night.
A hospital spokesman said: “Sadly she has died.”
Her death, coming nine months after another Larkmead pupil, Sarah Waterhouse, died in a cycling accident, sparked calls for safer roads in the town.
Larkmead headteacher Chris Harris believed Ty-Ree had been riding along the designated cycle path but did not know how the accident happened.
He said in a letter to parents: “Ty-ree had stayed to attend our science club and was making her way home by bike.
“Once she had traversed the pathway from the bridge above our school to Copenhagen Drive, she began to make her way to Dunmore Road.
“We do not know exactly what happened next but she collided with a van and suffered very serious injuries.”
He added: “We’re still going through a very serious grieving process and establishing a sense of balance from when we lost one of our students Sarah Waterhouse, which in a school takes time. When another incident of this nature happens you go through that process again.”
Thames Valley Police said no arrests had been made over the incident.
Last night, Di Mashiter, the headteacher of the town’s John Mason School – where Ty-Ree had previously attended – called on Oxfordshire County Council to act immediately to make the town’s roads safer.
The heads of Larkmead, Fitzharrys, John Mason, Abingdon School, St Helen and St Katherine, Our Lady’s Convent and Abingdon & Witney College want: l 20mph speed limits l New pedestrian crossings l Speed humps Ms Mashiter said: “Al-though Ty-Ree was only at John Mason School for a short period of time, she was a valued member of our school community.
“Our thoughts are with Ty-Ree’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
“The council must act now and work with us to provide safer roads on which our children can travel to school.”
Teresa Kelly, the principal of Abingdon & Witney College, said: “I don’t think urgent is a strong enough word – it has to take priority now.”
Anthony Kirkwood, of Oxfordshire County Council’s road safety unit, said that a full investigation would take place into the accident.
He said £35,000 had been set aside for improvements to cycle routes in Abingdon and officers were exploring measures to improve road safety around Larkmead School.
Susan Tranter, headteacher of Fitzharrys, said: “If every road had a cycle way, that would be a significant way forward but that would not be enough.
“We would have to continue to educate all adults, cyclists and road users to make the best of these community facilities and promote safety and well-being.”
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