Mother of five says she nearly died after tripping and falling on to glass bottle in Northampton alleyway

She is now calling for the council to adopt the popular cut through and make it safe

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 11:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 11:32 am

A Northampton mother-of-five is 'lucky to be alive' after tripping up in an alleyway and smashing a glass bottle into her neck and lungs - she is now calling on the council to make the popular cut through safe.

Samantha Ellis was walking home from her local shop when she tripped up in Friar's Crescent alleyway in Far Cotton at around 7pm on Sunday, January 2.

The alleyway is a busy cut through for hundreds of school children, pensioners and families in the area, but it is unadopted and therefore unmaintained and dark, which Samantha says is unsafe.

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The alleyway in Friar's Crescent, Far Cotton is unadopted and unmaintained

The 38-year-old said: "I tripped up and 'superman-dived' on to the glass bottle in my bag. The bottle smashed into my chest and pierced my lung leaving me with a very large, deep injury.

"I luckily had my phone on me and could ring my partner and because we live next to the alleyway it took him no time to get to me. He put both hands on my chest and stopped me from bleeding out. His quick actions saved my life. My injuries are very severe.

"The cut is 9cm deep and 9cm wide. I should not be here. We are just in shock. If I didn't have my phone I don't know what would have happened."

Sam was taken to hospital and was urgently seen by a surgeon.

Samantha's injury.

She said: "The surgeon couldn't believe I have walked away from this. He said I should have died. I was very, very lucky. If it had been a millimetre either way I would not be here.

"It's not sunk in yet. I am going to have issues long-term. I have got five children including a young baby, the next weeks and months will be tough. My children are traumatised."

Now Samantha and Far Cotton councillor Julie Davenport are calling for West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to step in, adopt the alleyway and make it safe or close it off.

Samantha said: "I am not the only one who has been injured in that alleyway, an old lady has cracked her head open before after tripping up. So many serious injuries have happened.

"Someone has got to do something about it. The council tell me it's not their responsibility. I think WNC need to take responsibility. I don't know the logistics of adopting an alleyway but it needs sorting.

"What's it going to take to make it safer? Would it have taken me to die for someone to look into it?"

Councillor Julie Davenport said: "It just begs the question, what about the council's duty of care? Where does the responsibility lie if someone gets injured?

"I would love to see this alleyway adopted but WNC will say, 'if we do it for one, we have to do it for all'.

"How many people have to get hurt before something is done?"

Councillor Phil Larratt, from WNC, said: “We are extremely sorry to hear of this unfortunate accident and wish the resident well with their recovery.

"The private cut-through path from Friar's Crescent to Gloucester Avenue is not owned by WNC and appears to have no landowner according to Land Registry.

"It is possible that the pathway may be listed in the surrounding homeowners’ deeds, as there appears to be access to garages behind the houses to the east side. It is also possible that the original developer owns the pathway, however tracing them may prove difficult.

"We will certainly consider the possibility of adopting this path and will liaise directly with Councillor Davenport on this matter once we have investigated further.”