Girl, 10, left with fractured skull after 40ft tree fell on her in Northamptonshire

WNAA landing in Woodford Halse
WNAA landing in Woodford Halse

The stepfather of a 10-year-old girl who suffered a fractured skull after she was hit by a falling 40ft tree in a Northamptonshire village said she was “an inch” away from being killed.

Annabelle Orritt was walking home from school in Woodford Halse with her friend when a rotten tree on the embankment of the path uprooted and fell towards her.

The youngster managed to avoid being crushed by the tree but suffered serious head injuries, including a fractured skull which led to a bleed on her brain, multiple fractures of her eye socket and a broken cheekbone.

David Brooks, Annabel’s stepfather, said she faced a long road to recovery but was lucky to be alive.

Mr Brooks said: “Another inch further and she would have been killed. A woman and her child in a buggy had walked past my daughter and her friend just seconds before. Some of her schoolmates were walking behind and they heard the tree snap and shouted a warning which may have helped her get out of the way.”

Mr Brooks, a firefighter who gave his step-daughter first aid at the scene, said he was hugely impressed with the crew from the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance who stabilised her condition and transferred her to Walsgrave hospital.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who has ever donated to the air ambulance as you never know when you might need it.”