Heartbroken families sign petition calling for safety improvements at scene of fatal Sheffield bus crash

Heartbroken relatives have signed a petition demanding road safety improvements after a teenager was killed and her boyfriend left fighting for life in a horrific bus crash.

By Sam Jackson
Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 10:05 am
The Junction of Castle Street, Waingate and Haymarket
The Junction of Castle Street, Waingate and Haymarket

Summer Lee Seymour, aged 15, died and a 17-year-old boy, named locally as Jake Ford, was seriously injured in the collision with a bus on Haymarket, at the junction with Castle Street in Sheffield city centre, on Friday afternoon.

Almost 2,000 people have now signed an online petition – including Summer’s mother Corrina, sister Cortney and Jake’s father Scott – calling on Sheffield Council to install traffic lights and a crossing at the junction of Castle Street, Waingate and Haymarket.

The Junction of Castle Street, Waingate and Haymarket

The petition was set up by Sheffield bus driver Melissa Hewitt, who said the area had been ‘an accident waiting to happen’ for years.

It comes as tributes continue to flood in for Summer, described as a ‘caring’ girl with a ‘lovely sense of humour’ by Bradfield School, where she was a Year 11 pupil. Her boyfriend Jake remains in a ‘critical, but stable’ condition in hospital.

Melissa, aged 28, of St Aiden’s Way, Norfolk Park, said: “As a bus driver myself this has been an accident waiting to happen for a long time.

“It’s really saddened me to hear of Summer’s passing and I think that in respect of Summer and for her boyfriend, Sheffield needs to do this to prevent any other lives at risk.

“Summer Seymour had her whole life ahead of her. I didn’t know Summer neither do I know the family or her partner but this beautiful girl lost her life and I think it could have been prevented had they been some traffic lights with pedestrian crossing installed.

“It is really bad driving round the city centre especially in this area. I’ve come across lots of near misses myself and it won’t be the last if something isn’t done about this soon.”

“I saw some of Summer’s friends laying flowers at the scene and it breaks my heart. I’ve done it in respect of her life and of her family. Nothing like this should ever have to happen.

“I’m so overwhelmed by the people of Sheffield signing the petition, I didn’t think it would take off like it did, I’d just like to say a big thank you.”

Shoppers visiting the scene yesterday to read the floral agreed that safety should be improved.

Rebecca Dancer, of Shiregreen, said: “I signed the petition. It seems like quite a busy area and something that was going to happen. It would be good to get a crossing sorted.”

Another shopper said: “Something needs changing, it’s sort of a blind spot even though it’s not. Something needs to be done as buses don’t slow down.”

And Patricia Colliver, of Birley, added: “There is too much traffic with buses and taxis and buses moving too quickly.

The council said it would have to wait until the investigation was complete to consider if changes could be made.

Coun Terry Fox, the council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We were very sad to hear about the tragic accident that took place on Friday.

“We are co-operating with the police investigation into this accident, but until the outcome of this investigation has been completed, it would be premature to announce any changes that could be introduced in that area of the city centre.”

South Yorkshire Police are continuing to investigate and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A spokesman for bus operator, First, said: “The investigation is still ongoing. We’re fully assisting the police to help gather all the necessary information and will support recommendations from their report into this very tragic incident.”

n To sign the petition visit www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-install-crossing-at-the-junctions-where-castle-st-waingate-amp-haymarket-join-for-summer