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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Shop sign ripped off by storm hits young woman

A WHITEHAVEN woman was left unconscious and with multiple injuries after a sign from the town’s Burton's shop fell on her.

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RETURNING TO THE SCENE: Siobhan Woolaghan outside Burton

Siobhan Woolaghan, from Woodhouse, was out enjoying the festive celebrations on Boxing Day when the large ‘Burton’ sign running the length of the King Street property detached from the wall and hit her on the head, knocking her unconscious.

The 21-year-old had to get a taxi to West Cumberland Hospital as it would have taken over an hour for an ambulance. While there, Siobhan says nurses in A&E told her she was lucky to be alive because had the sign hit two inches to the left it could have killed her.

She suffered injuries to most of her body and was off work for four days suffering from blurred vision and concussion.

She doesn’t remember what happened but she was out with her uncle, William Carr, who said: “It was frightening. At first we didn’t know what was happening and then when we realised Siobhan was on the floor and it was so scary.”

A phone call to the emergency services was placed around 10.10pm and the fire service attended to secure the sign against further damage for the wind.

The cuts on her leg were not treated at the time as staff were checking for broken bones and dealing with her head injury. But a trip to the doctor the following week confirmed Siobhan’s leg has become infected.

The shop’s management has apologised for the incident.

Siobhan said: “I am in so much pain and it has ruined my Christmas. I work at Wyndham Manor Care Home, in Cleator Moor, and had to work Christmas Day so Boxing Day was the only day I had off and I ended up in hospital.

“I haven’t been able to enjoy New Year celebrations as I have been on so many painkillers.

“This accident could have been a lot worse, and I’m just so lucky it wasn’t as serious as it could have been.”

Both Siobhan and William are disappointed with way the situation has been handled by Burton, which is part of the Arcadia Group.

“Burton don’t seem to realise the seriousness of what could have happened to me and they are not stepping up and taking responsibility for what happened,” she said.

Flowers were sent to Siobhan from the area manager on behalf of the Whitehaven store.

A spokesperson for Burton said: “We can confirm an incident occurred outside the Burton store in Whitehaven involving Ms Woollaghan which resulted from the extreme weather experienced in December. We did write and send flowers and we apologise to her for any injury caused. We wish Ms Woollaghan a full and speedy recovery.”

Have your say

Why wasn't the headline to this story "Gone for a Burton!"? I'm glad Siobhan has recovered, especially as "She suffered injuries to most of her body", after being hit on the head by the sign. As for Burton's reaction, I'm sure they did everything possible to stop the storm, so cannot be held responsible for it's actions.

Posted by Maria Warner on 14 January 2014 at 18:28

I stand corrected, i missed the bit that said it happened at night.
There was no way Burtons could have done anything to help her at the time.

Posted by ta on 13 January 2014 at 15:57

View all 9 comments on this article

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