Stories behind the statistics in Sheffield

Mitchell Mason with mum Leesa Ward two months after the accident
Mitchell Mason with mum Leesa Ward two months after the accident
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Families of children hurt in crashes on South Yorkshire’s roads today welcomed figures showing deaths at an all-time low – but said more needs to be done to slow the traffic.

Leesa Ward’s 11-year-old son Mitchell Mason was seriously injured when he was struck by a car on the Manor estate two years ago.

He needed 11 operations, had to learn to walk and talk again, and can still attend school only two days a week because of seizures.

Leesa, of Ravencar Road, Manor, said today: “It’s good news the number of deaths is coming down, but I still don’t think enough is being done about speed.

“More restrictions need to be imposed near schools and parks where children are playing, and on roads people use for rat runs.”

In Kimberworth, nine-year-old Jac Ashurst was one of the 450 people seriously injured on South Yorkshire’s roads last year when he was knocked off his bike on Richmond Park Road in September.

“He’s doing alright, he’s walking around again,” said big brother Matthew Wheeler, 22. “He’s still got crutches, but he doesn’t need to use them all the time.

“I don’t think the roads are any safer though – there are a lot of young drivers who are not experienced. I was a young driver once and smashed up a car so I know how it feels. They just show off with their mates.

“On our road they were talking about putting in speed bumps, but it’s not happened.”