Woman in taxi fall terror

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A TEENAGER was in hospital last night with horrific injuries after she fell out of a Doncaster taxi and was crushed under a moving car.

The 18-year-old was trapped under the car for about an hour as firefighters waited for medical advice before using airbags to lift the car off her in the middle of Thorne town centre.

The Moorends woman was last night said to be ‘serious but stable’ with pelvic, back and neck fractures as well as a head injury.

The incident at the junction of King Street and Church Street in the early hours of Sunday has echoes of a similar scenario in Doncaster town centre almost a year ago when a 27-year-old man fell from a moving taxi on St George’s roundabout and suffered a fatal head injury.

Last night taxi drivers were urged to make sure their passenger doors were closed at all times, although it is not known yet how the woman came to exit the moving hackney carriage as it slowed to turn a corner.

Police are appealing for independent witnesses to the incident which happened about 1.50am on Sunday.

The teenager was believed to be the only passenger in a black taxi that was travelling from Thorne town centre to Moorends.

As the taxi slowed down on King Street on a left hand bend, just before the junction with Church Street, the woman appears to have fallen out of the vehicle through the sliding door on the driver’s side.

A black VW Passat travelling behind the taxi is then believed to have overtaken the vehicle, believing the driver to be stopping as he had slowed down, but she fell under the wheels of the VW.

When Thorne and Doncaster fire crews arrived they called for their technical rescue unit to assist.

But because of the victim’s potentially life-threatening injuires they had to wait for a doctor to arrive and advise them before lifting the VW with airbags.

The road was closed while the delicate rescue operation was carried out.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to please come forward.

Andy Pownall, the vice-chairman of the Doncaster Taxi Drivers’ Association, said taxis with sliding doors had a safety device which automatically locks them until the taxi’s speed goes below about 5mph.

“If the door had been open when the taxi set off there would have probably been a warning light on the dashboard and the interior light would stay on, so no driver should set off with doors open.

“The driver can’t lock the passenger doors permanently or we’d be accused of kidnap. I don’t know the details about this incident but maybe the locking system on all taxi doors needs to be looked at.

“We shall certainly be passing the word to our members to take extra care that passenger doors are always closed, especially with a busy Christmas coming up.”

Last month the inquest into the death of Robert Dowling, of Owston Road, Carcroft, was halted after the coroner asked for further police investigations into how he came to topple onto the road at St George’s on January 18.

Anyone with information on Sunday’s incident should call the police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident 151 of December 9.