Mum and baby in narrow escape in Roman Road scaffold crash

A homeless mum had a narrow escape with her two-month old baby today (Fri) when scaffolding crashed down on her in the street.

Charlene Jacks, 32, was struck by four poles being dismantled above her in the busy Roman Road in London’s East End this-afternoon—missing her two-month-old baby daughter Rogue by inches.

“I didn’t see the scaffolding as it crashed down,” she told the Advertiser as an emergency paramedic was giving her oxygen.

“The scaffolding would have crushed my baby if I hadn’t been in the way.

“We’ve both had a lucky escape—but I’m in quite severe pain in my shoulder and my back.”


You may also want to watch:


The paramedic called police after eye-witnesses spoke of scaffolders walking off after the accident.

He said: “I contacted police because the scaffolders had left.”

Most Read

Police at the scene confirmed the incident has been reported to the Health & Safety Executive.

Passer-by Shaun Leaning said: “I saw men loading scaffolding onto a van and one section fell onto the woman’s shoulder while she was pushing a pram.

“They’ve had a narrow escape—a split second earlier and the scaffolding would have hit the pram.

“I asked the men for their details and they just walked off.”

Charlene also tried asking who they were. She recalled: “They just said sorry and carried on moving the stuff—then walked off.”

Minutes later, an ambulance arrived and Charlene was taken to the Royal London Hospital. Her sister Larnie Jacks, who lives close by, was looking after the baby while she was being treated.

The accident happened next to Old Ford Primary school shortly before home time when the pavement outside Mimi’s charity boutique next door would have been crowded with youngsters. Roofing work was being carried out on flats above the shop.

Boutique manager Joe Leslie said: “I found the woman outside crying and brought her in to calm her, then called for an ambulance—but now it’s a police matter.”

Charlene, who lives with her newborn in a homeless hostel in Limehouse, is meeting Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick next Friday in a desperate bid to be housed.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter