Babies doing well after tragic crash

The grandfather of two children who were injured when their pushchair was hit by a stolen car said last night they were doing well at home.

The grandfather of two children who were injured when their pushchair was hit by a stolen car said last night they were doing well at home.

Dean Phinn, 18 months, and sister Mia, seven months, were hurt when a Honda Civic hit their double buggy on a road in South Shields last Thursday.

Their grandmother Pamela Phinn, 48, was killed in the crash and their mother Kelly Laws, 29, suffered serious injuries and remains in intensive care at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Last night, the children's grandfather Brian Phinn, of Erskine Road, South Shields, said both children had now been allowed home from hospital and appeared to be making a good recovery. He said: "The babies are out of hospital and are being looked after by their dad.

"They're doing well. Dean has a plaster cast on, but he's OK."

He said Ms Laws was out of intensive care and doing well.

The family were crossing Horsley Hill Road at 2.10pm when they were struck.

Witnesses said Mrs Phinn and Ms Laws were pushing the double buggy.

It ended upturned at the roadside, with the family's shopping strewn over the street. Mr Phinn also spoke of the incredible coincidence involved in the tragedy, in which the Honda Civic was allegedly stolen from Mrs Phinn's sister Diane Dalton minutes before the crash.

He said: "It must be a billion-to-one chance. We just can't believe it.

"That's what's made it so hard to take. Everybody has just been in shock."

Mrs Phinn, who lived in nearby Salisbury Street, worked at an Asda supermarket. A message on flowers from colleagues said they would miss "her smiling face". Mr Phinn, who had separated from Mrs Phinn and is now remarried, thanked the public after the family received messages of condolence and support from far and wide.

He said: "I know the public care. We have had letters from all over the world."

* Paul Wales made a first appearance at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, charged with causing the death of Mrs Phinn by dangerous driving.

He is also charged with robbery, driving without insurance and not in accordance with his licence and criminal damage to a police breath-test machine.

The 47-year-old, of Gorst Street, Liverpool, appeared by video link from Durham Prison.

He was again remanded in custody after the case was adjourned for a plea and case-management hearing on July 18. A trial date has been provisionally fixed for September 18.

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