Tributes paid to paramedic, 21

Pictured: Rookie paramedic, 21, who was just two months into her job when she was killed when ambulance and cement truck crashed into each other

  •  Alice Clark, 21, died at the scene after the crash on the A21 near Tonbridge, Kent
  • Her parents said their daughter would be ‘missed more than words can say’
  •  Three staff members were travelling in the ambulance at the time of the crash
  •  Lorry driver suffered minor injuries as police appeal for witnesses to collision

Tributes have been paid to a ‘beautiful and kind’ paramedic who died after a collision between an ambulance and a cement lorry.

Alice Clark, 21, a newly-qualified paramedic who joined the South East Coast Ambulance Service in November 2021, died at the scene after the crash on the A21 near Tonbridge, Kent, on Wednesday night.      

Three members of staff were travelling in the ambulance at the time of the crash but were not transporting a patient.

Multiple crews attended the scene, including the air ambulance service alongside police and fire service colleagues. 

A male paramedic, who sustained serious multiple injuries, was airlifted to Kings College Hospital in London and a student paramedic, who was travelling in the rear of the vehicle, was taken to hospital with a head injury. 

The lorry driver suffered minor injuries,  a spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said.

Today, Alice’s parents said their daughter would be ‘missed more than words can say’.

Tributes have been paid to paramedic Alice Clark, 21, who died after a collision between an ambulance and a cement lorry

In a statement shared by South East Coast Ambulance Service, her parents said: ‘Alice was so excited to qualify as a paramedic and looked forward to every shift.

‘She was a beautiful, kind, fun-loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.

‘She loved to travel and anyone who met her loved her. She will be missed more than words can say by family and friends. We would ask for privacy at this very sad and tragic time for us.’

Paying tribute today, Giovanni Mazza, Manager for the Paddock Wood Operating Unit where Alice was based said: ‘Although she had only been with us for a short time, Alice was already very much part of our ambulance family and will be remembered as a kind and dedicated paramedic. 

‘She will be deeply and sadly missed by her colleagues and we’re sending our love and prayers to her family and friends during this horrendous time.’      

Yesterday SECAmb Executive Director of Operations Emma Williams said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and our heart-felt sympathies go to her family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. 

‘Our thoughts are also with the other injured staff members as well as all of those who responded to the incident.

‘We are supporting the police in their enquiries and would urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.’ 

Crash scene investigation teams spent hours collecting evidence and using specialist laser scanners to try and recreate what happened.

Dashcam footage is said to have been recovered from the two vehicles, but police are keen to see more from others in the area who witnessed the collision. 

Members of the ambulance service at the scene after the crash on the A21 near Tonbridge, Kent, on Wednesday night

Crash scene investigation teams spent hours collecting evidence and using specialist laser scanners to try and recreate what happened 

Police were called at 8.16pm last night after a crash between an ambulance and a cement lorry

The crushed front of the ambulance is seen following the crash in Sevenoaks, Kent

The road was closed for several hours as the force investigated the area before finally reopening just before 8am this morning.

A Kent Police spokesman said: ‘Dashcam footage and witnesses are being sought following a collision on the coastbound carriageway of the A21 near Sevenoaks.

‘Kent Police was called to the scene at 8.16pm on Wednesday 5 January 2022, following a report of a collision involving an ambulance and a cement lorry. 

‘Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit have commenced an investigation and are asking anyone with dashcam footage prior to the incident to come forward. 

‘Anyone who witnessed the collision is also being asked to contact officers.’ 

Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit are asking anyone with dashcam footage prior to the incident to come forward

Anyone who witnessed the collision is also being asked to contact officers

Road closures are in place and motorists are being asked to check their route before travelling

A spokesman for the SECAmb UNISON Branch, which represents operational ambulance staff, said: ‘Our thoughts are with everyone involved with this awful tragedy, including those who attended the scene on the night, and those still in hospital.

‘UNISON is supporting members distressed by the events and hopes for a full recovery for our injured colleagues.’ 

Community First Responders Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells, a charity of trained volunteers who respond to 999 calls assisting SECAmb, said in a statement posted on Facebook: ‘Our thoughts are with all those involved in this tragic incident, such sad news. 

‘The professionalism and dedication of the crews that attended this incident to care for their friends and colleagues makes us all immensely proud to be a part of the SECAmb family. 

‘I’m sure we’ll all be hugging our loved ones that bit tighter today.’ 

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