Hit and run driver caught on camera

18th October 2006

This shocking picture captures the moment a schoolgirl was sent somersaulting through the air by a hit-and-run driver.

Jodie Momudu, 12, a school swimming champion, was hit by a large four-wheel drive car as she left her school in Essex.

The Mitsubishi Shogun smashed into the terrified youngster as her friends and other pupils watched. The road was busy as the school emptied at lunchtime, and the distressing crash was also witnessed by parents picking up their children at the gates of Barking Abbey School.

Incredibly, Jodie escaped with minor injuries and is well on the way to a full recovery.

Jodie Momudu, 12, survived the accident and has set her sights in swimming for Britain in the 2012 London Olympics

Police have now released this CCTV image as they step up attempts to track down the motorist, who sped away after the impact.

The image clearly shows the schoolgirl, dwarfed by the bulk of the dark-coloured car, being thrown into the air by the impact as the driver attempts to brake before hitting her. So sudden is the collision that many of the onlookers in the picture have yet to react.

One parent who saw what happened said: "It was all so quick. There was a sickening noise and I turned and saw the poor girl being thrown into the air. She landed in a heap on the ground. Everybody was really shocked." The accident happened in South Park Drive, Barking, London at lunchtime on Friday, 14 July - the last day of the summer term.

Barking Abbey broke up at lunchtime for the summer holidays that day, and the street was full of parents and pupils, as well as worshippers making their way to a nearby mosque.

Police seeking the driver today urged anybody who witnessed the collision to come forward in the hope that they may hold vital clues. Jodie is a rising sports star. She has held the borough breaststroke record for the past three years and is the Essex and South-East Counties Champion.

After recovering during the summer she is now back in full training and has set her sights on swimming for Britain in the 2012 London Olympics.