Rainham community raises money for family of two-year-old boy left with “life-changing” injuries after he was hit by a car

PUBLISHED: 16:49 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:49 26 April 2018

Ethan Basten on his second birthday just a few weeks ago. Photo: Natalie Woods

Ethan Basten on his second birthday just a few weeks ago. Photo: Natalie Woods

Natalie Woods

Members of the Rainham community have come together to raise funds for the family of a two-year-old boy who was hit by a car and left with life-changing injuries.

From left to right are: (front) Tesco Rainham community champion Natalie Camilis, Jill Emsden, store manager Angela Evans and Kerry Phillips. (Back) Martin Brenchett and Nina Jah.From left to right are: (front) Tesco Rainham community champion Natalie Camilis, Jill Emsden, store manager Angela Evans and Kerry Phillips. (Back) Martin Brenchett and Nina Jah.

An online donation page has raised over £2,000 and the Tesco in Rainham has been collecting donations from customers.

Two-year-old Ethan Basten, and his mother Leanne Rigby were rushed to hospital after being hit by a dark blue Mercedes in South End Road on Tuesday (April 24) afternoon.

The driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drug driving and has since been released under investigation.

Ethan’s uncle, Mathew Woods told the Recorder that his nephew underwent surgery yesterday after he suffered serious injuries to his face.

Mathew said that all of Ethan’s teeth had been smashed in the collision, and that his injuries are “life changing.”

He said that Ethan’s dad - his brother Clifton - had an operation the day before the crash which has meant that he is unable to work for at least the next month, and that is why his brother and his wife set up the Go fund me page.

“We’re just trying to do all we can to help the family, they’ve been through so much in the last few weeks.

“It’s been devastating for everyone” said the 30-year-old from Basildon.

His wife Natalie said that she had been in contact with Ethan’s mum, and said that they were overwhelmed with the support they had received.

Natalie said that Ethan and his mum had been walking home from picking up his sister from school when they were hit by the car.

“It was such a shock to hear what had happened, they’ve had the worst week imaginable.

“Ethan is going to need more surgery but it is nice that the community has come together to help support the family.”

She said that the pair had been pushed through a brick wall, but luckily his older sister was slightly in front on her scooter and was unharmed.

Natalie Camilis, who is the community champion for the Tesco store in Bridge Road said that they want to raise as much as possible for the family and said that the town has been nicknamed ‘Rain-Heart’ by some people because of its generosity.

She said: “With so much bad news we just want people to remember that there are communities like Rainham where we come together to help each other in times of need.”`

Natalie and her colleague Danielle Matthews have set up a bucket for donations in the store, and she said that they had alot of people dropping in change to help out.

“Alot of our customers are elderly and don’t have Facebook so won’t see whats been going on, so they have been asking in the store about how he is doing.”

Detectives from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with dash-cam footage, to come forward in connection with the collision.

Immediately following the collision members of the public assisted in detaining a suspect. Police are particularly keen to hear from those people.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, is asked to call investigating officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command on 0208 597 4874 or contact via Twitter @MetCC.

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at

To donate to Ethan’s family visit the Go fund me page.

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