Four children die as car is torn apart in head-on crash: Young victims' bodies are found in a field after being thrown 30 metres by force of impact. Andrew Gliniecki reports

THE CRASH scene, according to one seasoned police officer, was the worst he had ever witnessed. Four children who died in the head-on collision had been catapulted up to 30 metres through the air by the force of the impact, landing in a nearby field.

The barely recognisable wreckage of the vehicles involved, a BMW 325 and a Volkswagen Scirocco, was strewn across a wide area near a bend on the A52 near Werrington, Staffordshire, which has long been regarded as an accident blackspot.

Ambulance crews who took the dead and injured to North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary were said to have suffered 'shock and pain' when they arrived at the scene of the crash at 10.40pm on Monday. The Scirocco had been ripped apart in the accident and lay in a field next to the road. It is understood the vehicle was too old to have been factory-fitted with rear seatbelts.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: 'We want to see retrospective fitting of belts in all cars that have anchor points. Seatbelts do save lives and certainly would have done in this tragic case.'

The driver, 31, who suffered pelvic injuries, lost two of her children - a six-year-old boy and his four- year-old sister - in the accident.

Two other passengers, a five-year- old boy and an eight-year-old girl who were not related, also died. All were from the Longton area of Stoke-on-Trent and had been returning from a 'special treat' at a restaurant and leisure complex near the scene of the crash.

The 38-year-old driver of the BMW and his wife, 36, suffered neck and ankle injuries respectively. Their 18-month-old son suffered head injuries. All three are in a stable condition. The family live in Staffordshire Moorlands.

Jim Perry, a local resident who was first on the scene, said: 'I was watching television when I heard a loud bang and rushed outside.

'The BMW was on the road pointing towards a field. The Scirocco was actually in the field. There were children lying in the road. It wasn't very pleasant at all. You dare not touch them because you don't know what that might do.' The crash happened on a bend near the Red Cow pub on the A52. Last year, a man died in a head-on crash near the scene of the latest tragedy.

Mr Perry, a driving instructor, said: 'Drivers come round the bend at atrocious speeds, and nothing has been done about it in the past. What does it take to get somebody to do something? Surely they could put some warning sign here.'

Geoffrey Hobbs, county surveyor of Staffordshire County Council, said the authority had reviewed the safety of the road after a number of accidents there and would look at the situation again.

Acting Chief Inspector John Baylay, of the Northern Traffic Division, said: 'This is the worst accident I have seen in my 29 years in the police force. My heart goes out to those involved.'

Police said that the families of those involved in the accident were 'extremely distraught' and had asked the authorities not to release names of the victims until an inquest is held.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us