An eight-year-old girl is fighting for her life and a woman in her 40s is in critical condition after a car crashed into a prep school building in Wimbledon, south London, on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.
A second eight-year old girl, named locally as Selena, died of her injuries following the collision at the Study Preparatory School in Wimbledon, south-west London.
The London Ambulance Service said 16 people had been treated at the scene, with 10 taken to hospital.
It is unknown how many of those were children or adults, but one onlooker described seeing ‘one little baby that was in the ambulance who was crying uncontrollably’.
A woman arrested on suspicion of causing the death by dangerous driving of a young girl after a Land Rover crashed through a school fence has been bailed.
In a statement, the Met said: ‘The driver of the car, a 46-year-old woman from Wimbledon, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
‘She was taken to hospital – her condition was assessed as not life-threatening. She has been bailed pending further inquiries to a date in late July.
‘Detectives from the Met’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit are leading the investigation and their inquiries are ongoing. They are expected to remain at the scene throughout the day.
‘The investigation remains in its early stages and officers are keeping an open mind whilst following up all lines of inquiry. We ask that people do not speculate about the circumstances while this work is ongoing.’
Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, local policing commander for south-west London, said: ‘It is difficult to imagine the pain and upset the families of those involved are going through and we will do all we can to support them as our investigation continues.
‘I know the impact of this tragic incident is also being felt in the wider community and we are working with our partners to ensure the appropriate support is in place.
‘I understand many people will want answers about how this happened and there is a team of detectives working to establish the circumstances.’
A police cordon was no longer in place on Friday morning while flowers and tributes had been placed along the entrance to the school.
Another tribute left at the scene said: ‘To the Study and parents. So sorry for this tragic loss to the school and the family. Forever in our thoughts.
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis club, also laid flowers at the scene.
He told reporters: ‘We feel closely associated with the community. What a tragic incident – we just offer our heartfelt sympathies to all affected.’
A local teacher, who did not want to be named, told reportes: ‘A friend of mine has friends who have children who go to the school.
‘She said they have all kinds of broken bones including a broken pelvis.
‘I’m a teacher and I’m a mother and it could have happened to us. It could have happened to anybody.’
Members of the Wimbledon Common Golf Club, which is opposite the school, held a minute’s silence outside the school gates on Friday afternoon.
Speaking afterwards, Peter Thompson, chairman of the golf club, said: ‘We’re close neighbours, we’ve got close links with The Study.
‘When they were doing their refurbishments they used one of our offices. It’s shocked the whole membership.
‘It’s just so sad to lose someone so young.’
London Ambulance Service said it sent 15 ambulances to the incident and treated 16 patients at the scene. Twelve were taken to hospital.
The school said in a statement that it was ‘profoundly shocked’ by what happened.
A statement on its website added: ‘Our thoughts are with the bereaved family and with the families of those injured at this terrible time.
‘It is still far too soon to fully understand what happened, but we are well aware of the significant impact this dreadful event will have on our pupils and their families.
‘Their welfare remains our top priority and we will be doing everything we can to support them, especially those who suffered injuries.’
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