TWO elderly women are seriously ill in hospital after being hit by a car on their way to a church carol service.
The 81-year-old and 85-year-old were hit as they crossed Church Road, on Hayling Island, just outside the gates to St Mary’s Church.
They were struck by a Red Suzuki hatchback car that was travelling north at the time.
One of the women’s husbands and a group of friends were following behind and were in a state of shock after witnessing the crash.
Nick Bailey, 43, lives on Church Road and his wife went out to help.
He said: ‘It was a couple of old ladies trying to cross the road.
‘The first I knew was a couple of people knocking on the door asking for blankets saying there had been an accident in the road.
‘My wife went out to try and help.
‘The husband came in with one of the ladies and some friends. They were in shock.
‘They were 30 seconds behind.’
He added: ‘I’m surprised they are still alive to be honest.’
The 81-year-old was taken by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital at Cosham and is being treated for broken bones and a laceration to her head.
The 85-year-old was taken to Southampton General Hospital and is being treated for broken bones and an ‘unknown head injury’, said police.
Both women are from Hayling Island.
A police spokesman said the injuries were ‘serious and life-changing’.
The 56-year-old Hayling man driving the car was not hurt.
He was interviewed at the scene, but police said no arrests were made.
Police cordoned off the road following the accident, which happened at about 6.25pm on Sunday.
A woman who attended the carol service said parishioners learned of the crash as they were leaving the church.
‘The police told us to stay in the church because we would not be able to get away,’ said the Hayling woman, who did not want to be named.
‘We were all very concerned.
‘It’s not a nice way to end a carol service.’
Mr Bailey added: ‘I hope they make a recovery.
‘It’s sad really.’
And he said the authorities may need to look at Church Road to make it safer.
‘It’s a busy road,’ he said.
‘They have a crossing for the school.
‘Maybe there needs to be another crossing.’
Police are still appealing for witnesses.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 44150446608.