Safety campaign grows after Samanatha's death

A campaign for road-safety improvements at the site where a six-year-old girl died is gathering pace, with her family and community leaders demanding action.

A campaign for road-safety improvements at the site where a six-year-old girl died is gathering pace, with her family and community leaders demanding action.

Samantha Castledine died on a busy stretch of the A12 in Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft, after she was involved in a collision with a 17-tonne lorry.

She was on her way to school at Gunton Primary on the morning of March 26 and was waiting at a central reservation seconds before the tragedy.

Within hours, worried parents voiced their concerns about the safety of the road and now the chairman of the Gunton Park Residents' Association has written to highways chiefs, council bosses and local MP Bob Blizzard in an attempt to force action.

John Bentley said: "This must not happen again. Something has got to be done to make this junction a safer place for children. Where the safety of schoolchildren is concerned, money should not be an excuse."

In 2003, Mr Bentley wrote to the Highways Agency after the association unsuccessfully tried to get traffic lights put up on the road, near the junction with Hollingsworth Road.

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In his letter, he wrote: "I do not want to wait until a child is eventually seriously injured or worse, killed, before attention is drawn to this junction. This road carries some very large vehicles."

The death of Samantha, who lived in Spashett Road, Lowestoft, has touched the community and hundreds of bunches of flowers, condolence cards and cuddly toys have been left in her memory in a churchyard next to the scene of the accident.

Samantha's family are also demanding safety improve-ments, such as a pelican crossing, and her older sister Jo Woolnough said: "We need to raise awareness and need people to get behind us as something needs to be done at that stretch of road. Every person who has got a child at Gunton Primary School would vouch for that.

"Even though they have got a lollipop person there, it still shows that something like this can happen; it does not seem fair and something must be done."

Samantha was being taken to school by an adult relative and was waiting with her bike shortly before the collision.

The Highways Agency, which is responsible for the road where the accident happened, said it would fully co-operate with the coroner and police to investigate if any safety improvements were needed.

Samantha's funeral will be at 1pm on Wednesday at St Margaret's Church, off Hollingsworth Road, followed by a cremation service at Gorleston crematorium at 2.40pm. People attending the service have been asked to wear bright colours to celebrate Samantha's life.

The family will be accepting flowers but they would prefer donations in Samantha's memory to Gunton County Primary School.