A MUM watched in horror as her little boy was flung into the air ‘like a rag doll’ after being struck by a car on a Sheffield street.
Jake Hughes, aged nine, was hit as he sprinted across the road towards an ice cream van on Nether Shire Lane, Shiregreen.
The Beck Primary pupil underwent emergency surgery on his leg and today remains in a serous condition in hospital. His distraught mum Rebecca Howsham, 29, was buying ice cream for Jake and her other children - Jade, 11, Sophie, seven, and two-year-old Paul Junior - when she saw her son struck.
She said: “I heard this big thud and saw Jake, like a rag doll, being thrown up into the air. I just screamed and ran towards him. It was terrible.” Jake badly broke his leg and suffered serious injuries to his head, face and chest. His femur - the large bone in his thigh - snapped, piercing through the skin and forcing doctors at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to carry out emergency surgery. They stitched a gash above his eye and treated bad grazes on his face and chest.
Rebecca said: “He is still very drowsy and is still in a neck brace.“He has said one or two words and has lifted his arms up and cried for me, which shows he knew I was there.
“Jake will get through it. He is a real fighter - he was born premature and he fought through that.
“He doesn’t let anything get him down. Once he has worked out how to use his crutches there will be no stopping him.”
Rebecca said she had grounded Jake for staying out too late on his bike - and he was confined to his bedroom when the ice cream van arrived.
“I went out to get ice creams for the kids - I was fetching one for Jake.
“But he saw the van through his window and thought he was being left out, so he came bombing out into the street.”
Jake ran out from behind a parked car straight into the path of a Vauxhall Astra.
Rebecca said the 21-year-old male driver had acted impeccably.
She said: “I have no quarrel with him - he asked how Jake was and stayed until the police arrived and handed his keys over.
“He was very respectful. I have no idea how fast he was going.”
But she said the street - in a 20mph advisory speed zone - is dangerous, with cars often speeding.
Jake’s grandfather James Hughes, 52, added: “This is a really dangerous road.
“Boy racers just ignore the speed limits and race up and down.
“Other streets have speed bumps but we’ve got nothing.”
Shiregreen and Brightside Coun Peter Price said: “I’m very saddened to hear about this.
“We don’t know what speed the driver was doing.
“But what it does perhaps indicate is the importance of trying to cut down speed in areas where there are children living.
“We need to maybe look at ways of enforcing speed limits, perhaps by employing people to make sure the limit is abided by.”
Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at 6pm on Wednesday, and are trying to trace the ice cream driver who may have seen what happened.
Anyone with information should call 0114 220 2020.