A mum was killed after she was blown into the road and hit by a road sweeper during Storm Doris, horrified witnesses said today.
The 32-year-old woman was pushing an empty pushchair to pick up her young child from a nearby childminder when she was struck by the vehicle.
Devastated locals said the “wind took hold of her” and swept the empty pram into the path of the road cleaner.
It is understood she followed the pram – or was blown after it – and became trapped under the vehicle.
The incident happened at around 4.30pm in Stratton, Swindon, Wiltshire, on Thursday when winds peaked around 30mph.
The road is close to two schools and two nurseries and local mums have called on the council to install safety measures to prevent accidents in the future.
Writing on Facebook, Alun Rossiter from Swindon said: “What awful day in Stratton when a young mum goes to pick up her child, and the wind takes a young mum’s life.
“Having a young family really brings it home. Apparently pushing a empty push chair to the child minder, wind took hold of her.”
Charlene Mills from Swindon added: “Oh my gosh!
“Just heard a lady got blown into the road and hit by a road sweeper!”
Samantha Miles wrote: “Oh my god poor women and poor baby with his or her mother.
“This weather is bad. Thoughts are with her family.”
Jessica Gilder wrote: “The child was dropped off at childminders.
“It was just an empty pushchair.
“My mum was there when the lady passed away.
“Just horrible news. Thoughts are with family at this very sad time.”
Jo Thelma Breslin added: “Terrible. My dad was there and seen it happen and tried helping her. My dad very upset.
“Life’s too short.
“She was on the way to collect child with an empty pushchair and my dad panicked and thought there was a child too but there wasn’t – just her pram she took to collect her child.”
South West Ambulance Service confirmed paramedics were called to the scene at 4.24pm to reports of a collision between a vehicle and a female pedestrian.
Two ambulances and two rapid response cars responded, but the service refused to disclose what injuries was she treated for or whether she was taken to hospital.
It is understood the road was closed until at least 8pm, and the woman died at the scene.
Police appealed for witnesses to the crash which happened in Beechcroft Road near the Arkell’s Brewery at the Hyde Road crossroads.
Officers said they believe she was on her way to collect her child when she was involved in a collision with a ‘white road maintenance vehicle’.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “A 32-year-old lady from Swindon sadly died at the scene.
“Next of kin have been informed and formal identification will take place in due course.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident, or was in the area at the time, is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.”
Mum-of-one Emily Woodman who lives on the road said she had spoken to other local women who had seen the accident.
The 28-year-old said: “From what I’ve heard from the mums that the wind blew the empty buggy into the road and she went in after it.
“She was hit by the road sweeper and was trapped and she died at the scene sadly.
“The accident was at 4.30pm and she wasn’t moved until 8pm.
“The wind was strong but I wouldn’t have thought that it would have been that strong to do that.”
She called on the council to make the road safer and added: “There is crossings but they are at either end of a very long road.
“Many people and kids that go to Kingsdown school cross opposite the pub.
“If you don’t time it right – when the lights change, it gives you five seconds to cross before the other lights go green – I have had many close calls and abuse from drivers while trying to cross with my daughter.
“I understand she wasn’t crossing but this just brings to light how dangerous that road is. It’s awful.
“A pedestrian crossing either side so people can cross safely would really help.
“The council worked on the road a few months ago and we were thinking that they would put a crossing in but they didn’t. They widened the road.
“It’s a horrible time for the family involved – a dreadful accident.
“She was a young mum like myself. We are all shocked.”