Campaign for safer Erith road year on from schoolboy Josh Collins' devastating accident

Josh Collins recovering in hospital

The day of the accident this day last year. Picture courtesy of Paul Seymour.

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A mother of an injured schoolboy talks about the 13-year-old’s incredible journey to rebuild his life a year after he was knocked down by a car.

On July 15 last year Bexleyheath Academy pupil Josh Collins had just got off the school bus and was walking home along the A206 Northend Road when he was struck by a car.

The Year 7 youngster suffered fractures to his skull, right arm, shoulder and bleeding on the brain during the collision and was airlifted to hospital by London’s Air Ambulance in a critical condition.

Now 13, Josh is back at school and gaining in confidence after learning how to talk and eat again as well as making new memories – he doesn’t remember anything from before the accident.

He is even planning to hold fundraising events for two organisations which helped save his life this time last year.

News Shopper: A section of Northend Road has been closed off this evening. Pic by Paul Seymour

Mum Nicola Collins, of Parkside Avenue, Bexleyheath, told News Shopper: “He is raising money at his school next week for two charities which helped him.

“The London Air Ambulance took him to hospital and then when he was being rehabilitated the Sick Children Trust provided accommodation for us to stay nearby as well as counselling sessions.

“I said goodbye to my son when I saw him leave for school that day – he’s not the son I had. He is lovely little boy though and still has a wicked sense of humour.

“He still tells me how he is traumatised to cross the road.

“He attends school as much as he can with all the hospital appointments he can and Bexleyheath Academy has been amazing.”

The 44-year-old believes Northend Road needs to be made safer. 

She said: “There have been some changes made to the road over the last year but I would like to campaign to get more changes on that road with speed cameras and more crossings.

"There have been some changes but not enough.

“I want to encourage greater awareness of road safety and ask young people to make sure they’re vigilant when they’re crossing the road and not wear earphones or be distracted.

“Josh wants to campaign about it himself which is a sign of his growing confidence because before he felt ashamed of putting me through the pain of the accident.

"It's tough but he is making progress.”

Would you like to be involved in a campaign for Northend Road to be safer? Contact the newsdesk on hwood@london.newsquest.co.uk

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