Norwich girl saved by the kindness of strangers

A Norwich woman today told how she was lucky to be alive after being hit by a car as she walked home from a party.

Jane Duffield spoke of her ordeal and thanked a group of people, including her shocked relatives, friends and onlookers for helping to treat her at the scene.

Miss Duffield, 20, was knocked unconscious, needed 20 stitches to her head and suffered bruising following the collision in Riverside Road.

Miss Duffield, from Newbegin Road, Thorpe Hamlet, had celebrated the New Year at the Red Lion pub, in Bishopgate, and was walking home with her boyfriend, brother and group of friends at 1.30am when she stepped out into the road and was struck by a car.

Today, Miss Duffield, who is recovering at home, thanked her friends and family for their help, and also a group of strangers who helped and called the emergency services.

Miss Duffield, who works as a fruit and vegetable packer for McCarthy's, said: 'I remember running up to the pedestrian crossing and pressing the button. After that I can only remember waking up in a pool of blood. My brother, James, was telling me to keep talking to the paramedics. James' girlfriend is training to be a nurse and apparently she put me in the recovery position, but I can't remember. I want to thank everyone who helped me. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. I'm lucky to be alive.'

Miss Duffield's face, knees and teeth were damaged in the incident. She had 20 stitches in her head and has needed crutches to walk as her knee was badly bruised.

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Brother James Duffield, 18, said: 'I saw the car coming and saw Jane get hit and thrown down the road. I ran to her and held her in my arms but she was unconscious. There was a lot of blood.'

Jane's mum, Sarah Duffield, 44, a night shift supervisor said: 'We want to thank everyone. There was so many people there who I will never see again who I want to thank for their help – the people in the street and the paramedics. They were so good to us, we can't say thank you enough. Everyone at the hospital was really good to us.'

Miss Duffield's father, Simon Duffield, had been at the pub celebrating, but had left an hour before.

Mr Duffield, 45. a transport manager from Primrose Road, said: 'We would like to thank everyone who was concerned for Jane, including the passers-by, the paramedics and staff at the hospital and friends who have shown great concern.

'She received a lot of treatment at the scene and was well looked after. She is recovering at home and is smiling again,' Mr Duffield said.

As reported by the Evening News on Tuesday, the accident was witnessed by Ernest Nicholls, 34, a part-time student from White Woman Place, off Gas Hill, who was in his kitchen when he saw the crash. But he did not know what had happened until the Duffield family contacted the Evening News. He said: 'I saw the girl stumble into the road and get knocked down by a car. It completely took me aback. It plays on my mind a lot.'

Mr Nicholls was one of a number of people who telephoned the emergency services as crowds gathered around Jane to offer help.

The driver of the car stopped at the scene of the crash.

A spokesman for Norfolk police said they were called to the incident at 1.32am on January 1 and the road was closed for around 45 minutes.

Has a stranger saved your life? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email