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Monday, 06 July 2015

12-year-old Dalton schoolgirl from Askam praised for crash scene bravery

A YOUNG girl has been recognised for her outstanding bravery at the scene of a horrendous car crash.

Tara Tappenden, of Headlands, in Askam, kept her composure under immense pressure as she guided emergency services to an accident on the A590 last month.

The 12-year-old was travelling with her family near Levens on June 24 when the car in front lost control at 60mph and flipped, rolling three times before coming to rest in a hedge.

Tara’s paramedic mum Avril McKinley and police officer step-dad Eric McKinley stopped their car and went to help the people trapped in the smoking wreckage.

While that was happening, Tara stayed in the car with her younger sister Erin and called 999, providing the operator with valuable details about the scene.

“I was a bit panicked by it and didn’t really know what to, but I knew if I rang them everything would be all right,” she said.

Mrs McKinley said her daughter showed remarkable poise under the extraordinary circumstances.

“She told control how many people were in the car, how many vehicles were involved, the location and what resources were needed in terms of fire, police and ambulance to make the vehicle safe,” the proud mum said.

With the car on its side and leaking petrol, Mr and Mrs McKinley worked quickly to remove the female driver and two child passengers – one an 18-month-old baby.

Once they were free, Mrs McKinley – who is based at the Barrow ambulance station – checked them for injuries, while Mr McKinley – a Barrow community police officer – directed traffic until back-up arrived.

Mrs McKinley was so proud of her little girl that she put her name forward for a North West Ambulance Service junior lifesaver award.

Tara, a Year Seven pupil at Dowdales School, in Dalton, said she was surprised when she received notification of the honour.

“I was excited to get it and proud of myself for achieving it as well,” she said.

Have your say

Amazing how in times of panic, even at as young an age as 12, instincts to help out take over. Much respect to the entire family

Posted by Dave Thomas on 13 July 2012 at 12:31

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