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Safety mirror on Fleet Estate Dartford to stop others ending up like teenager knocked off her bike

ByKatie May Nelson

A mother's campaign to get a traffic mirror installed has paid off two years after her daughter was struck by a car.

Gracie Maddox was out on her bike on the Fleet Estate in Dartford on June 26 2017, when a car caught the front of her bike, knocking her off and leaving her with multiple injuries.

She suffered nine broken ribs, and a punctured lung and spleen.

Gracie Maddox at King's hospital on life support following the accident in June 2017
Gracie Maddox at King's hospital on life support following the accident in June 2017

She was on life support for two weeks with pressure on her brain caused by fractures to her skull.

Despite this the 13-year-old has remained resilient, supporting her mum in lobbying the council to install a mirror at the junction where the accident happened.

Mum of four Jessica Maddox got Dartford Borough Council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite (Con) and deputy Mayor Cllr Rosanna Currans (Con) on side, and they agreed to get the mirror put in place at the junction of Dovedale Road and Princes Road.

She was helped by her friend Ellie Robinson who runs the estate's mum and toddler group Fleet Open House.

Leader of Dartford Council Jeremy Kite with Ellie Robinson and Jesica Maddox. Picture: John Westhrop
Leader of Dartford Council Jeremy Kite with Ellie Robinson and Jesica Maddox. Picture: John Westhrop

She said: "We had a meeting with Jeremy and Rosanna and we walked them around.

"We suggested that a mirror was put in place so you can see up the road.

"Jeremy and Rosanna have been great."

The junction is very narrow and the area suffers from issues with parking, where staff and visitors to nearby Darent Valley Hospital leave their cars on the estate.

On the one year anniversary of the accident, the Maddox family hosted a fun day in aid of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.

The mirror is now up. Picture: John Westhrop
The mirror is now up. Picture: John Westhrop

Commenting on the mirror, Gracie, a Longfield Academy pupil, said: "It saves people's lives and makes people safer."

Cllr Jeremy Kite said: “I’m delighted to see this mirror installed, it’s the first of a number of steps we intend to take to make life safer for the community on the Fleet Estate.

"It’s been a pleasure to work with Jessica and Ellie who clearly have the interests of the neighbourhood at heart.”

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

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