At 3.10pm on Bank Holiday Monday (May 26) emergency services were called to the road outside the Black Duck public house in Warbleton after reports of a collision in which seven people had been injured.
Two three-year-old local children, who are cousins and were amongst spectators watching the Warbleton go-karting ‘Soap Box Derby’ - known locally as the Church Hill Challenge - on a cordoned-off stretch of road, sustained serious head injuries when a pedal-driven kart left the road and hit spectators.
The girl, from Hailsham, was taken by air ambulance to Kings College Hospital in South London and the boy, from Herstmonceux, was taken by air ambulance to St George’s Hospital, also in South London.
Their conditions are currently assessed as critical.
Three other spectators were injured, a 20-year-old woman who was taken by road ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with arm injuries, a four-year-old Peacehaven boy who was taken by road ambulance to the same hospital with leg injuries, and a 37-year-old man who was taken by road ambulance to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings to be treated for a leg injury.
The 36-year-old Rushlake Green man who was driving the kart suffered a minor knee injury which did not require hospital treatment, and a 60-year-old woman was who also on the same kart sustained an arm injury.
Police have carried out initial enquiries, have spoken to the event organisers and witnesses, and are also keeping in contact with the victims and families involved.
They are also supplying information to Wealden District Council so that they can establish the full circumstances and decide what action should be taken, as the road was closed at the time.
Both Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance helicopters attended and the air ambulance doctor and paramedic treated both the male and female child at the scene.
One was flown to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, and the other was taken to King’s College Hospital, London.
Two injured people were takne to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and and another to the Eastbourne District General Hospital.
There was criticism from relatives of the injured people and other witnesses who described the scene as ‘carnage’.
One witness described the crashed vehicle as like a ‘miniature rocket’ and others said there had been other incidents on the track.
Gary Kinell, landlord of the Black Duck (formerly the Warbill in Tun), declined to comment.
Full story in the Friday edition of the Sussex Express.