Thursday 18 January 2018

Young mum paralysed from waist down in horror hit-and-run crash appeals for witnesses

Chanelle Higgins Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Chanelle Higgins Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Catherine Wyatt

A woman who was paralysed from the waist down after a hit-and-run collision is appealing for witnesses to the life-changing incident.

Chanelle Higgins was on a night out in West Norwood, south-east London, when a car mounted the pavement, struck her and a friend, and drove away, police said.

"If I didn't have kids I would have given up because it was so hard, so painful," Ms Higgins told the Press Association.

"They're my motivation, they are what's keeping me going."

The 30-year-old said she used to enjoy playing football with her son and jumping on the trampoline with her daughter. She can no longer do either.

Ms Higgins now uses a wheelchair. She has limited upper-body movement, but she does not want her children to see her feeling down.

"I still do try my hardest with the kids because I am not going to give up," she said. "I am not going to let them see mummy's weak. Mummy's too strong. I'm a fighter."

Ms Higgins and her friend were struck by a dark grey BMW 3 series shortly before 4.40am on Sunday May 29 on Norwood High Street after leaving Scandals Night Club, the Met said.

Asked how she felt about the driver, the single mother said: "What kind of wicked person are you? You're evil, and I am sorry to say that, but he is evil. How can you drive over somebody and leave them for dead?

"Not even stop to see if they're okay, you just continue driving like you just ran over a piece of paper.

"We are human beings."

Ms Higgins is still coming to terms with the accident.

"I am not me. I am not Chanelle," she said. "I used to be so confident. I have got a long way to work back up to being me."

Pc Laura Travers, who is leading the investigation, urged anyone with any information to come forward.

"It may be that someone thinks that what they saw was only small or not that important, but that small thing could be key in our investigation," she said.

CCTV footage shows several people helping the two women and administering first aid, but not all have come forward to the police.

Ms Higgins' friend was also treated in hospital, but discharged following treatment for a minor injury.

The car involved in the incident was found on June 16 in a residential south London street.

On the same day, a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He was released on bail to return in December pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Pc Travers on 020 8649 2135 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Press Association

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