Mother critical after carjacking

Woman was dragged along road under her car
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The Independent Online

A mother is fighting for her life in hospital after a car-jacking in which she was dragged under the vehicle, police said. Caroline Johnson was scraping ice off her windscreen before taking her son to school yesterday morning when a man jumped into her car and drove away, leaving her in the road in Langley, Berkshire.

Detective Inspector Steve Armstead said it was likely Mrs Johnson, 46, had been dragged behind the car when it ran her over, leaving her with serious internal injuries and wounds to her arms and legs. He told reporters: "We think she was dragged along the road a considerable distance; it is believed she was dragged 10 to 20 metres and passed under the vehicle."

Mrs Johnson, who works as a receptionist at a local veterinary surgery, is now in a critical but stable condition in Wexham Park Hospital. Her husband Mark said: "This whole incident has left us devastated and will continue to do so for months to come. What happened yesterday was completely unnecessary, and I urge anyone who can help the police catch whoever did this to my wife to come forward."

Police said Mrs Johnson was seen lying in the road by her house by a man who was driving his children to school. The man, who had noticed a car being driven erratically behind him, stopped his car to call for help.He stayed with Mrs Johnson until the ambulance arrived. Her young son did not witness the incident.

Detectives are pursuing several lines of inquiry though they believe the thief may be a "local opportunist" because he escaped from the scene on lesser-known back roads.

Mrs Johnson's car, a champagne-coloured Citroen Picasso, was found last night, abandoned but in a good condition, about two and a half miles from her home, Thames Valley Police said. It is now being examined for forensic evidence.

Detectives said they were looking for a white man, who is believed to be in his 30s. Pc Clive Benson said: "Over 14 years experience of road traffic collisions, I have never seen anyone with as many injuries as this woman has sustained. The family are struggling to deal with what has happened and they are naturally devastated. It's an incident no one expected to happen."

Today friends of Mrs Johnson said they were "shocked" and "upset" by what had happened. A neighbour, Becky Potter, 42, said: "It's a terrible thing that's happened to her. I feel for the family enormously and it's frightening, it could happen to anyone."