Falling Bognor shop sign badly injures two women

Gwen Lowe

The Phones 4 U shop in Bognor

First published in News
Last updated
by , Crime reporter

The daughter of an 88-year-old widow taken to hospital after a shop sign fell on her is considering legal action.

Carole McMeckan said she hoped to speak to a lawyer regarding what she feared was Phones 4 U's “incompetence” when the sign fell in strong winds.

Her mother Gwen Lowe and an unnamed 18-year-old were injured after the shop's sign plunged onto them.

Mrs Lowe suffered a neck injury, shock, high blood pressure and sickness and the younger woman was knocked out, suffered a “nasty head injury” and broken ankle.

Yesterday Mrs McMeckan, 67, also a widow, said: “My mother was traumatised and they have put people's lives at risk.

“They need to be put to task. This is potentially incompetence and something needs to be done.”

She said she was focusing on her mother at the moment, but intended to speak to her about the possibility of speaking to a lawyer.

She said her mother had just got off the bus and was walking along London Road, Bognor, at around 10.30am on Saturday when the sign for Phones 4 U fell down.

Police, members of the public and paramedics helped both women and they were taken to St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.

Mrs McMeckan said: “It's terrible. She could have suffered a stroke. She could have died.”

The 67-year-old continued: “She spent Saturday and Sunday throwing up - probably because of the shock.

“She is still in hospital and is understandably very upset.

“She doesn't want to walk under a shop front again. I don't blame her. I don't either.

“My mother is a very strong woman but she is elderly. This is affected her in the same way people might be affected by a mugging.”

She said her mother described hearing a “bang” before being knocked to the ground.

“She was on the floor and there was a teenager next to her unconscious.”

The teenage girl's mother, Sarah Moon, said on a Facebook page her daughter had suffered a “bad bash to her head and a badly broken ankle.”

A Phones 4 U spokeswoman yesterday said they had tried to get hold of Mrs Lowe's contact details.

She added: “It's hugely unfortunate that it happened. The severe weather has not helped at all.

“Our regional property manager is there today. We clearly don't want a reoccurrence of this.

“We are concerned for both of their welfare.”

Sussex Police confirmed they attended, adding: “It appeared that during strong winds and a hailstorm an advertising sign outside the shop fell to the ground, injuring two women.

“Fire and ambulance were already in attendance and police assisted with traffic control while the incident was dealt with.

“Both women were taken to St Richard's Hospital, Chichester. One is thought to have suffered a broken ankle and both had slight neck and head injuries.”

Comments (3)

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10:33am Tue 11 Feb 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

This is the culture of companies in the UK today. Making a profit comes before everything else.

This lady needs to get to a lawyer quickly to make sure Phones 4 you doesn't hide or destroy incriminating records.
This is the culture of companies in the UK today. Making a profit comes before everything else. This lady needs to get to a lawyer quickly to make sure Phones 4 you doesn't hide or destroy incriminating records. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -9

1:20pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Roundbill says...

It's not really negligence or incompetence, is it? Presumably the shop and/or freeholder were unaware that the sign was not adequately secured, and are as mortified that people have been injured. This sort of incident is likely to be covered by the retailer's public liability insurance though, and I'm sure they'll endeavour to pay reparations in a timely manner.
And I have no doubt Phones 4U will be happy to make a donation to Headway or some other relevant charity as a goodwill gesture.
It's not really negligence or incompetence, is it? Presumably the shop and/or freeholder were unaware that the sign was not adequately secured, and are as mortified that people have been injured. This sort of incident is likely to be covered by the retailer's public liability insurance though, and I'm sure they'll endeavour to pay reparations in a timely manner. And I have no doubt Phones 4U will be happy to make a donation to Headway or some other relevant charity as a goodwill gesture. Roundbill
  • Score: 8

2:44am Wed 12 Feb 14

crimple says...

Witnesses said at the scene that the sign had been loose for weeks and that the staff were aware of this. Unfortunately it had not been properly secured and according to one witness was "an accident waiting to happen"

.
Witnesses said at the scene that the sign had been loose for weeks and that the staff were aware of this. Unfortunately it had not been properly secured and according to one witness was "an accident waiting to happen" . crimple
  • Score: 0

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