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November 7, 2002


From: Carlisle News, UK
Nov. 7, 2002

By Staff Reporter
Published in The News and Star on 07/11/2002

AN 11-year-old Carlisle schoolgirl was killed last night when she was hit by a car as she crossed the A6.

Lisa Watson, who is deaf, and was a pupil at Austin Friars School, was crossing the road close to her home at Plumpton Foot, near Penrith, shortly after 6pm.

It is believed she had got off a bus moments earlier at Plumpton Foot road end.

It is understood at least one member of her family witnessed the tragedy.

Austin Friars headteacher Nicholas O'Sullivan today paid tribute to Lisa, saying she was a "beautiful, bright and courageous girl".


He said: "She had her life before her. Our sadness at her loss goes beyond words. Her family and friends are at the centre of our care, thoughts and prayers."

Lisa's parents, Andrew and Lorraine, are understood to run a haulage company near Penrith. They were being comforted at their home today.

Lisa was a former pupil at Calthwaite School. A woman in the village said everyone there was "overcome with grief" at the tragedy.

Austin Friars head Mr O'Sullivan broke news of the tragedy to pupils at a special assembly this morning.

"Lisa was a new, first year pupil and the whole school community is devastated by the news of her death," he added.

A posy of flowers had already been pinned on Lisa's picture, which had been displayed in the school with other portraits of pupils, he said.

Lisa was born almost totally deaf and wore hearing aids since she was two.

At five, she became one of the first children in Cumbria to have a cochlea implant. She had to have an operation, which took four hours and involved electrodes being implanted inside her head.

It transformed her life and she started ballet and tap lessons.

She had enjoyed a full life at school, Mr O'Sullivan said. Today support workers were in the school to help her fellow pupils, he added.

The driver of the Rover car involved is a 32-year-old man from Carlisle. Police said he was heading towards Carlisle when the accident occurred.

Police sealed off the A6 for three-and-a-half hours last night as accident investigators examined the scene. A police spokesman said a thorough investigation would be carried out, as in the case of any fatal road crash.

The coroner has been informed of her death and an inquest was expected to be opened and adjourned later today.

n In a separate incident, a 20-year-old woman was cut free from her car after it was involved in a minor accident with a minibus one mile from the scene of the fatal accident. Her Ford Fiesta collided with a minibus at Plumpton crossroads shortly before 6.30pm and she was released by the fire service and taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

A spokesman said the woman, from Armathwaite, suffered chest and leg injuries. There were no reports of any other injuries

© 2002 The News and Star