Mother and baby in 'terrifying' escape after trailer comes off van and ploughs into pram

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read

Watch: Narrow escape for mother and baby after trailer flies off van

A mother and her baby had a narrow escape after a trailer came off a van and collided with the child’s pram.

Eleanor O’Callaghan said it was “absolutely terrifying” when the one-tonne trailer mounted the pavement and struck the pram, which contained her three-month-old son River.

She had been pushing him along the pavement in the village of Silver End, Braintree, Essex, last Tuesday.

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The 23-year-old said she had only a “split second” to pull the pram out of the way of the oncoming trailer, after she heard a loud bang when it hurtled towards them.

The trailer did collide with the pram but River was not injured. Ms O’Callaghan was “sent flying” and suffered stiff neck, shoulders and arms in the incident, which was captured on CCTV from a house on the opposite corner of the junction where it took place.

The mother was walking along a pavement in Silver End, Braintree, Essex, when the incident happened. (SWNS)
The mother was walking along a pavement in Silver End, Braintree, Essex, when the incident happened. (SWNS)
A van transporting a car on a trailer turns in front of the mother and her baby. (SWNS)
A van transporting a car on one of its trailers turned in front of the mother and her baby. (SWNS)

The van, which was transporting a car on another of its trailers, was turning right in front of the mother and her baby.

As it did so, its trailer came loose and flew across the road and over the kerb, mounting the pavement in front of Ms O’Callaghan and her child.

The video clip shows the single mother losing her footing as she fights to pull the pram out of the way of the advancing trailer.

"It was a mum's worst nightmare,” she said.

"If I hadn't pulled the buggy back out of the way in that split second, my boy would have had no chance.

"The worst part was that as it came towards us, I wasn't sure if it was going to bounce up off the curb and come crashing down on top of us.

"All I could think about was keeping hold of the buggy because I didn't want my baby to fall out.

"The trailer caught the buggy and yanked it away from me, so I was sent flying.

The trailer came off the van and collided with the baby's pram after mounting the pavement. (SWNS)
A trailer came off the van and collided with the baby's pram after mounting the pavement. (SWNS)
The driver of the van approached the mother to apologise. (SWNS)
The driver of the van approached the mother to apologise. (SWNS)

"Luckily, River wasn't hurt – I don't think he even had any idea what had happened, he was just in his pram smiling up at me."

The CCTV footage shows the van stopping and the driver approaching Ms O’Callaghan to check she and her baby were OK.

"He seemed almost as shocked as I was, and was really apologetic,” she said.

"He actually had two trailers on the back of his van, and the other one was carrying a car on top of it – so I'm really lucky it wasn't that one that came towards me."

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Ms O’Callaghan said she then returned to her home nearby shaken and crying.

"I woke up the next day and it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

"I've been left with really sore and stiff shoulders, neck, and arms – which has been hard as I'm a single mother so I'm on my own looking after my little one."

She said she has reported the incident to Essex Police but the force said it cannot find a log of the report.