A LOLLIPOP woman in Dorchester has been hailed a hero after she saved a child’s life.

Three-year-old Nathan Dear was struck by a car but escaped any serious injuries thanks to quick-thinking Carol Heward who intervened.

The youngster would have run directly into the path of the passing car but Mrs Heward, who mans the school crossing at Damers Road in Dorchester, managed to pull him back.

Nathan was left with a grazed forehead but mum Sarah Mearns, 30, said the heroic actions of the lollipop lady saved her son’s life.

This comes as lollipop men and women across the county face the axe as a result of county council cuts and Mrs Heward’s actions are being cited as proof that axing the patrols could cost lives.

Mum-of-two Sarah, from Poundbury, said they were picking up her six-year-old son Liam from Damers First School when Nathan ran into the road.

She said: “It’s very unlike Nathan to run into the road, and I would normally have him by the hand, but on this occasion he just slipped away.

“He stepped right into the road but the lollipop lady grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back.

“The car still clipped him but only slightly – if she hadn’t been there he could have got run over and I dread to think what could have happened.

“She saved my son’s life.”

Quick-thinking Mrs Heward, 57, said she hoped this incident would send a message to the council that the work they do is crucial to the safety of children.

She said: “I was stood at the side of the road and the stick was up which tells drivers to stop but this car didn’t.

“I just caught the little boy from the corner of my eye running into the road and I managed to stop him with my arm. If I wasn’t there he would have got hit by the car because he was going so quickly. This isn’t the first time this has happened either.”

She added: “How can the council even consider cutting patrols when we are here to ensure the safety of children?

“I hope this sends a message to the council that we are needed.”

Damers First School secretary Debbie Gould said the school has started a petition to save the lollipop men and women.

She said: “This just shows the need for the lollipop people. We just can’t be without them.

“She is a hero – she saved that little boy’s life. If it wasn’t for her he’d probably be dead.”

Sean Arnott, 36, who is also a parent of a Damers First School pupil, said having the crossing patrol was a ‘lifeline’ for children.

He said: “I think it’s shocking the council can consider cutting patrols.

“Damers Road is a main road and there’s a lot of cars passing through and it’s just a lifeline having them as shown by this.”