A WOMAN was flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a lorry in Southend.

The 77-year-old woman was crossing Stock Road, at the junction with Sutton Road, when she was hit by the lorry.

She was treated at the scene before being flown by the air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital with serious injuries to her chest, arm and back.

The lorry driver, a 43-year-old Romanian man, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and taken into custody.

Rachel Weller, a courier driver for the Motex car parts firm, stopped to help the woman, believed to be called Rose.

She said: “I arrived just as the lorry was stopping and I went into autopilot, parked up and went straight over to her.

“I have no first aid training, but introduced myself and tried to keep her calm with boring chit chat.

“The emergency services were on the scene very quickly and they were absolutely amazing.

“Rose told me she was on the way to the cemetery and she had flowers in her walking frame.

“She was a very brave woman though and remarkably calm, considering the situation.”

Firefighters at nearby Southend fire station had seen the event unfold from their window opposite the scene and ran over to help.

Lee Burling, fire station officer, praised Ms Weller’s actions and helped administer treatment before the paramedics arrived.

He said: “Rachel was there from beginning to end and she was fantastic.

“She lay with the casualty, reassuring her and keeping her calm as we made the lorry secure. She gave her a space blanket and provided oxygen.”

The Essex Air Ambulance landed on the forecourt outside the fire station and took off shortly after 2pm on Friday, about an hour after the collision.

Sutton Road was closed by police all afternoon from the roundabout with Eastern Avenue to just past the Stock Road junction.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “She sustained serious injuries to her chest, back and arm.

“Her injuries are potentially life-threatening, but she is not thought to be in any immediate risk of death.

“She was anaesthetised by the air ambulance crew and then flown to the Royal London Hospital.”

The woman remains in a critical condition.

Marcel Georgescu, a lorry driver from Romania, has been charged with dangerous driving.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Police want to identify the drivers of three vehicles approaching the scene at the time of the incident, including a white transit van with writing on the side travelling towards Rochford, and a white box van with a tail lift travelling towards Southend.

The driver of a plain white transit van, which was heading towards Southend, got out of his vehicle and approached the scene.

He had dark hair and was wearing a white t-shirt.

Victim ‘was in a lot of pain’

A WITNESS said the horror collision unfolded in “slow motion”.

Michael Hart, of Formula One Autocentres, was on a break and saw the impact.

He said: “It was like it happened in slow motion in front of me. It was horrible and not something I’d ever like to see again.

“I saw the little old lady crossing the road and the lorry was waiting, but then just pulled across into Stock Road.

“She bounced off the cab and ended up under one of the backwheels, whichwent up on to her and then back down as he finally stopped.

“From the force of the impact, it didn’t look good and she was under there for quite a while as medics treated her.”

Krish Chris, from Ilford, was in Southend to take his motorbike test and arrived on the scene just after the incident occured. He said: “She really looked like she was in a lot of pain.”