Letchworth girl, 11, receives honour from Queen in recognition of bravery

Sam and Millie

Sam and Millie - Credit: Archant

An 11-year-old Letchworth girl has received an honour from the Queen in recognition of the brave actions she took after being involved in a car crash.

Millie Stearn was a passenger in a car on the A1 near Langford on a May evening last year, when her mother lost control of the vehicle in torrential rain. The car spun off the road into a ditch and the driver’s door hit a tree, causing Millie’s mother, Sam, to lose consciousness.

Millie, who was nine at the time, climbed out of the car and stood by the dual carriageway – which does not have a hard shoulder – to attract the attention of passing motorists, despite the danger of being hit by oncoming traffic.

A number of cars passed before one stopped, and Millie waited for two hours for her mother to be cut free from her car. She then accompanied Sam to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where she was treated in the intensive care unit before being released 10 days later.

Millie was presented with a Police Bravery Award from the Queen’s representatives The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, and Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, the Countess of Verulam, on Friday.


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The ceremony was held at Highfield School – where Millie is a pupil – and included an assembly for Year 7 students and family members, with headteacher Ian Morris among those to speak.

He said: “Can I just say how proud we are that someone in our community has exhibited such bravery. I’d like to say I could do the same, but I’m not sure that I could.”

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Richard Cano, headteacher of Purwell Primary School in Hitchin, where Millie was studying at the time of the accident, said: “I have been fortunate enough to know Millie for many years. If someone were looking for a student with heroic qualities, she may well be passed by in a crowd of people. But what she lacks in stature, she makes up for in heart. That’s a quality she has always shown.”

Millie’s mum said: “Millie showed courage at a very frightening time. She must have been so scared, but her actions saved my life and I will always be so thankful and proud.”

After receiving the award, Millie, who enjoys PE and history, said: “I am very pleased to receive the award. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know what everyone would make of it, but I think it went well.”

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