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Mother urges crash driver to come forward

On the road to recovery: Evan Joell is on the mend in hospital. Students and teachers from West Pembroke Primary School made him a “Get Well Soon” card to help lift his spirits(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The mother of the West Pembroke Primary School student hit by a motorcyclist who rode away shortly afterwards has urged the driver to contact police.

Lillian Joell said her family was “very grateful and very relieved” that seven-year-old Evan Joell sustained relatively minor injuries from the Wednesday afternoon incident on North Shore Road, and insisted that she bore no ill will towards the male motorist, who stopped briefly to check on the hurt youngster.

Ms Joell was shopping in Hamilton when she learnt of the collision, which took place at about 4.40pm outside West Pembroke Primary School, near the junction with Princess Estate Road.

“I just ran out of the store, jumped on my bike and got there in time to ride with Evan in the ambulance,” she said.

“He was in and out of consciousness, and his blood pressure was up and down because of the shock.”

Evan’s father Lauren Joell had already reached King Edward VII Memorial Hospital by the time the ambulance arrived.

A medical assessment determined that the youngster had a slight concussion but no broken bones — despite having scrapes and bruises “from head to toe”.

“Initially we thought the worst,” Ms Joell said. “He had a bad tumble, but it’s more like he was pushed than run over — he didn’t take the brunt of the impact.

“It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and we’re very grateful and very relieved that his injuries were minor.”

Ms Joell spoke to The Royal Gazette yesterday from hospital, where she said Evan was “very groggy” but otherwise fine, adding that she hoped her son would be discharged from hospital today.

“The staff are wonderful. They’re checking on him often and keeping us updated, and they’re very kind,” said the Smith’s resident, adding that multiple staff members from the school had also visited and offered support.

It is believed that Evan had initially used the crosswalk when leaving school, before crossing back over away from the crosswalk, which is when the accident happened.

“I think this was a one-off,” Ms Joell said. “Evan’s two older siblings attended West Pembroke Primary School, so we’ve had children there for the past 12 years, and there’s never been anything of this nature that we know about.”

Nonetheless, she suggested that a speed bump could make the area safer, as there is a blind corner which vehicles drive around quickly, and she encouraged motorists to check their speed when they are nearing a school. CCTV footage has shown that the motorcyclist stopped after the crash to check that Evan was okay, although he left the scene before the authorities arrived.

“At first we were distressed, because we thought the person had just hit Evan and run. I’m really glad he stopped and cradled our son, but we still don’t know who he is,” said Ms Joell, encouraging the rider to get in touch with the Bermuda Police Service.

“Evan was very fortunate. If it had been a car or another larger vehicle, I don’t know what would have happened.

“We’re just very thankful that our child is going to be okay.”

Anyone with any information can contact the BPS on 295-0011.