Nottingham

Girl, 8, writes to drink-driver who 'nearly killed' mum

Amelia with daughter Isabelle
Image caption Isabelle with mum Amelia Elce

An eight-year-old girl has written to a drink-driver who hit her mum's car at about 80mph while travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Amelia Elce, from Mansfield, escaped her car with cuts and "severe whiplash" in the crash on 21 September.

Her daughter Isabelle said in her note to the man that he "nearly killed her mummy" because he "drank alcohol".

Tomasz Niedziela admitted driving while over the limit at Mansfield Magistrates' Court on 12 December.

Isabelle said she wrote the letter to "save other people" and persuade motorists not to drink and drive at Christmas.

Image caption Isabelle's letter to the driver asked him "please don't ever do that again"

"To the man who drank alcohol on that night..." wrote Isabelle.

"You nearly killed my mummy! She had to go to hospital with blood pouring out of her head and I nearly didn't have a mummy anymore.

"So please don't ever do that again. Thank you from Isabelle."

The note had been shared widely on Facebook days after the crash but the family released it to the BBC, saying they wanted to send a message about drink-driving during the festive period.

Image caption Isabelle said she wrote the letter to save others

Ms Elce, a tutor at North Notts College, said Isabelle surprised the family with her words.

"She took herself off to her bedroom and came back with [the letter]," she said.

"It was amazing. We didn't realise the impact it had on her."

Ms Elce said the crash had left her "absolutely terrified" of getting in a car, even as a passenger.

"He was completely on my side of the road. [The police] think he hit me at 80mph," she said.

"I remember screaming and thinking I'm not coming out of this. I was very lucky.

"I thought I'd gone blind [following the impact] but it was due to the blood coming from the cuts to my head."

Image copyright Amelia Elce
Image caption Amelia Elce said she was amazed she got out of the car alive

Niedziela, 35, of Garnon Street, Mansfield, was disqualified from driving for 20 months and had to pay a £590 fine with a £59 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

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