Girl killed as car ploughs into shop

A 17-year-old girl was killed and another youngster suffered serious head injuries when a hit-and-run driver ploughed into a group of people outside a Norwich shop.

A 17-year-old girl was killed and another youngster suffered serious head injuries when a hit-and-run driver ploughed into a group of people outside a Norwich shop.

The victims were among people returning home from a night out when the car careered off the road and smashed into the Ideal convenience store on the corner of Magdalen Road and Waterloo Road at midnight last night.

Shocked witnesses today told how they saw the horrific crash and saw the driver get out of the blue Peugeot car and run off. He was later arrested.

Five people were taken to hospital and the road was closed until 5am.

Ben Walpole, 19, was walking to his home in Magdalen Road after a night out in the city centre when he saw the incident.

He told the Norwich Evening News: “I was getting close to home when I saw this car hit a load of people outside the shop. They flew off the car windscreen, and the next thing I knew they were lying on the floor.

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“I tried to help this girl - who I later learned had died - get up. Everyone was bleeding. I was trying to talk to her. I said “Are you all right?” But she was not really there. She was just lying there.

“A couple of minutes later the ambulance arrived. It was a really traumatising experience, and I have still got blood on my shirt.”

Another neighbour said customers from the Whalebone pub came out to help. He said: “The bloke in the car had hit a bollard going too fast down Magdalen Road and lost control. The people he hit just happened to be walking by the shop at the time. He legged it up Constitution Hill after leaving his car, but police traced him through the car number plate.”

The car's windscreen was smashed and its front was badly damaged. It was taken away by police at about 3am. Skid marks were left behind on the road, and a bollard had also been taken out.

An ambulance spokeswoman said: “We were called at 11.43pm to reports that a car had crashed into the Ideal Shop. This car had hit pedestrians on the pavement and three or four were lying on the floor injured. A 17-year-old girl pedestrian died, and one young male suffered serious head injuries. The other four casualties suffered minor injuries, including reports of broken ankles.

“We understand the car went off the road into the shop. We were on the scene within seven minutes.”

John Howell, 66, who owns the Ideal Shop, was called out by police at about 2am today. He said: “It's a really tragic incident and my heart goes out to the families and friends of the people involved. When I arrived there was extensive damage to the front of the shop. The shutters had been smashed. The wall and door were also smashed. My builder lives locally so he was able to make it look tidy so we could open at normal time, 6am.”

Four fire crews attended the incident and firefighters helped ambulance crews and police to make the scene safe.