By Rory Reynolds
AN eight-year-old girl was in a critical in hospital after being dragged under a car – just yards from her home.
Melissa Zeybek – who lives just across from her school in Prestonpans, East Lothian, was thought to have been crossing the busy road outside when she was hit and went under the car.
The horror accident occurred as pupils were leaving St Gabriel’s Primary near Edinburgh at around 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters with special equipment had to free the girl from under the vehicle before she could be treated by paramedics.
Melissa was rushed to the A&E department at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and later transferred to the Sick Kids Hospital in the south of the city for specialist care.
An NHS Lothian spokeswoman confirmed that the primary four pupil was in a “stable” condition.
Lothian and Borders Police have now launched a full investigation after closing off access to the busy Preston Road.
One local resident said that the road next to the school is known for being hazardous.
The neighbour, who wouldn’t be named, said: “This is a really dangerous road here and the council have been told about it.
“When the children come out here at the end of the day there’s cars parked right along the road and all the parents doing the school run as well.
“There has not been an accident here in the four years I have lived here, but there is still no question it is a dangerous road.”
Another added: “We didn’t see anything but we have heard that a wee girl was knocked down – it’s a real shock.
“Most of the kids go out the back onto South Grange Avenue where it is quiet, but quite a few do come out the front here.
“It’s mainly the kids getting the bus home, but I think the girl actually lived just across the road, so she would have just been taking the quickest route home.”
An East Lothian Council spokesperson said that the incident had been a terrible shock to pupils at Melissa’s school.
They said: “I’m afraid that there we can’t say very much about the incident, as this is the subject of a police investigation.
Support and comfort
“Everyone at St Gabriel’s is very shocked about what has happened.
“Teachers are talking to pupils about it this morning, and providing support and comfort.
“The whole school is thinking about and praying for the little girl and her family, and hoping that she will be back amongst her friends soon.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed that they had attended the incident.
He said: “At around 3.25pm Medic One attended a road traffic accident on at Preston Court in Prestonpans.
“An eight-year-old girl was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and later onto the Sick Kids Hospital.”