I was trying to brake: Woman is arrested 'after ploughing her car into families gathering for Eid prayers

This is the driver suspected of accidentally injuring six people including three children when her car careered out of control through a field full of hundreds of Muslims who had been celebrating the end of Ramadan.

The vehicle ploughed into crowds who had packed into a college sports pitch that was serving as an overflow car park for Newcastle Central Mosque at 9.14am.

Witnesses the driver, a 42-year-old Muslim woman, had got into her car after Eid prayers when she 'hit the gas not the break' and sped into adults and children.

Bloodied victims fled in horror as the car sped around the field outside Westgate Community College before a heroic bystander jumped in and pulled the handbrake.

The woman was arrested and taken into police custody but police said the incident was not terror related. The car was later filmed being taken away for investigation.

Speaking just before 2pm, Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said two of the children and one adult were still in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The event sparked panic just a week after suspected terrorist Darren Osborne, 47, deliberately drove into worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

Bystanders ran across the field in panic as they saw the car 'spinning' through the crowds of 300 to 400 people, which included large numbers of children.

The woman, who wore bright green traditional robes, had been parked on a grassy verge and went to move off when she lost control.

Witnesses said the first person hit was a 'little boy' as the vehicle span round three times before coming to a halt by a path.

Footage shows officers comforting people caught up in the incident, which included a man bleeding from his shoulder.

Witness Uman Nyanzi said: 'It was a complete freak accident. She was praying with us just before this all happened.

'She was in the car and she was speaking to someone literally just seconds before the accident.

'To me it looked like she pressed the gas instead of the brake and she lost control.

'The car started spinning. It was quite unbelievable. Someone had to jump in the car and pull the handbrake up to make it stop.

'The first person it knocked was a little boy and he was bleeding really heavily from his shoulder. His mother was hysterical and very distressed.'

Mr Nyzani said he saw several other victims lying nearby, adding: 'There was another boy lying near to him and two gentlemen.

'One man looked to have a leg injury and the other was holding his side. It was a terrible, terrible accident. I will pray for that little boy.

'I don't know the family but we might go visit him in hospital. It was one split second of accident or indecision.'


One witness told the Newcastle Chronicle: 'This was the Eid celebrations, the end of Ramadan. It was the end of prayers and we were greeting each other.

'A woman was driving and the car just drove into the people. The car was moving on and people tried to stop it.'

The witness claimed one of the injured was 'about ten-years-old' and two people were 'very seriously' hurt.

Umar Nyanzi told the Chronicle the car was eventually stopped when someone jumped in and pulled the handbrake on

Mohammed Wattra said he saw a victim, possible a child, trapped under the vehicle when it came to a stop.

The first ambulance arrived on scene in just two minutes, and paramedics spilled out.

Medical student Ahmad Ali described how people formed rings around the victims to allow doctors to reach them through the crowds.

'There were two children there, one of them - he was a boy about eight - was really badly injured,' he told the BBC.

'There were about five doctors there so he had a lot of medical attention. We checked to see he had a pulse.

'Everyone locked arms so there was a ring of locked arms around the injured people so they had space and the ambulances could get to them.'


A witness, known as Dr Afsar, told the BBC: 'I was at a car park when I heard screaming so I ran towards the community college just a couple of minutes from me.

'When I went over I saw that there was a very young teenager covered in blood; another very young teenager also looked injured.

'There was a middle-aged man outside the community college with facial injuries and blood all over his face.'

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said at 2pm: 'At approximately 9.14am we received reports that a car had collided with pedestrians outside of Westgate Sports Centre.

'At that time a large number of people were in the area celebrating the religious festival Eid that is held to mark the end of Ramadan.

'What we have established is that a 42-year-old female has been celebrating Eid with her family, she then got into her car and has collided with six people in the crowd.

'We have no information to suggest this is terror-related, however, this is a serious collision with 
Dailymailmultiple casualties and extensive inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances around this tragic incident.

'The six people injured, three of which are children, have been taken to hospital.'


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