Mum hit by 'careering' car at festival as two-year-old daughter thrown to safety by father

·3-min read
Jenna O'Neill's two-year-old daughter Ayla was thrown to safety by her
husband during the terrifying ordeal at the Conscious Tribal Gathering
in Denbighshire (reach)
Jenna O'Neill's two-year-old daughter Ayla was thrown to safety by her husband during the terrifying ordeal at the Conscious Tribal Gathering in Denbighshire. (Reach)

A woman who suffered life-changing injuries after being hit by a "careering" car at a family festival said her two-year-old daughter survived after being thrown to safety by her father.

Jenna O'Neill was struck by the vehicle at the Conscious Tribal Gathering in Denbighshire, north Wales.

She said she "thought her whole family had died" after a parked car rolled down a hill and ploughed into them. 

The 32-year-old mother from Gloucestershire was airlifted to hospital from the event on Saturday. 

Jenna O'Neill's two-year-old daughter Ayla was thrown to safety by her
husband during the terrifying ordeal at the Conscious Tribal Gathering
in Denbighshire (reach)
Jenna O'Neill's two-year-old daughter Ayla was thrown to safety by her husband during the terrifying ordeal at the Conscious Tribal Gathering in Denbighshire. (Reach)

Speaking from her hospital bed in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, O'Neill praised her husband Stephen's actions saving their daughter.

"My two-and-a-half year old toddler only survived this incident because my husband threw her out of the way of the car as it careered down the road," she told the BBC.

"He's a hero. Things would be very different if it wasn't for his quick-thinking and fast actions." She said she is in a critical but stable condition in hospital having suffered a broken collar bone, 10 broken ribs and a fractured pelvis as well as damage to her liver and spleen.

The Conscious Tribal Gathering took place on a private site in the Dee Valley, North Wales, last weekend  (reach)
The Conscious Tribal Gathering took place on a private site in the Dee Valley, North Wales, last weekend. (Reach)

"Mentally I keep going over what happened. I genuinely believed my whole family had died," she said.

Daughter Ayla "escaped with cuts" and husband Stephen has a fractured ankle but has since been discharged from hospital.

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"I'm really struggling with the fact that two days ago I was healthy and having fun with my family and now I'm unable to move in a hospital bed, unable to see my family as I'm so far from home due to COVID restrictions," O'Neill said.

"However all of this is manageable as I am so aware that it could have been so much worse if it wasn't for the actions of my heroic husband throwing our toddler out of the way of the oncoming car. So I am grateful for their safety."

North Wales Police said they were called to a report that an "unoccupied vehicle had rolled downhill over a tent at a campsite near Corwen", which is about 15 miles west of Wrexham.

The force has launched an investigation and is liaising with the Health and Safety Executive.

"We were sat outside our tent enjoying the sunshine having just had lunch," said O'Neill, who is from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

"The camping fields were on a sharp incline. We, like many people, had camped at the bottom as it was the only shaded area."

Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed they were called to "reports of a road traffic collision involving pedestrians" in the Glyndyfrdwy area of Corwen at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

The service said one person was flown by air ambulance to the major trauma unit at Stoke-on-Trent's University Hospital while two people were taken to Wrexham's Maelor Hospital in a road ambulance.

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