Paralysed Chanelle Higgins in Crimewatch hit-and-run appeal

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Media captionCCTV footage shows the moment a mother is left paralysed after a hit-and-run

A mother paralysed from the waist down in a hit-and-run collision has told BBC's Crimewatch she wanted "to die there and then".

Chanelle Higgins was on a night out in West Norwood, south-east London, in May when a car mounted the pavement, struck her and a friend, and drove away.

Ms Higgins now uses a wheelchair and has limited upper-body movement.

Her case will be featured on Crimewatch later and she will appeal for anyone with information to contact police.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Chanelle Higgins now has limited upper body movement

Ms Higgins told the show: "The last thing I remember was going in the ambulance and screaming about my legs hurting, and trying to reach for my legs, and then blacking out and waking up in a hospital bed with all tubes in my mouth my neck my nose.

"And they told me that I was paralysed and I had very limited use to my hands - it was just horrible.

"If I'm honest I just wanted to die there and then."

A dark grey BMW 3 series hit Ms Higgins and her friend at about 04:40 BST on 29 May last year. The car mounted the pavement on Norwood High Street, near Scandals Night Club.

In June a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He has been released on bail until mid-April.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident happened off Norwood High Street, West Norwood

When the Met Police launched an appeal last November for witnesses, Ms Higgins said: "I have spent five whole months lying in a hospital bed, missing my children and wondering what type of future I will be able to have.

"As a single mother, I was devastated to miss my son's birthday."

She added: "That night has changed me in just about every way. I'm not the person that I used to be and I'm just so unhappy. I used to be active, fit and bubbly. And so independent, I didn't have to rely on anyone. Now I need care 24 hours a day and due to my disability, I can't look after my children by myself and they have to stay with my family.

"This is what hurts the most. It has been so painful being away from them yet they are the only thing that keeps me going now."

Monday's special episode of Crimewatch will focus on the consequences of road crime after the law was toughened for using a mobile phone while driving.

Last week, penalties and fines for offenders were doubled to six points and £200 respectively.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption The car hit Chanelle Higgins and a friend

Following what happened to her, Ms Higgins told BBC Crimewatch her children were her motivation.

She said: "If I didn't have kids I would have given up because it was so hard, so painful.

"I am not going to let them see Mummy's weak. Mummy's too strong. I'm a fighter."

Ms Higgins' appeal will air at 21:00 GMT on BBC One.

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