Skeer News Exclusive

Girl, 13, trampled by shoppers as doors open at Baldivis Coles

A wheelchair-bound mother has told how she watched in horror as a crowd of more than 70 shoppers trampled on her daughter, at a Perth supermarket, as panic buying sets in amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The mother of two Emma Zache claims her 13-year-old daughter was trampled on and injured by a crowd of up to 80 shoppers as her family entered the Coles supermarket in the Baldivis Stockland Shopping Centre about 8am today.

Ms Zache told Skeer Media that she arrived at the supermarket just before the store opened, with her two children aged nine and 13, in an attempt to buy essential items the family had been trying to locate for more than a week.

“She was pushed to the ground and then stood on by adults”

“People were walking over her while she was crying on the ground just to get what they wanted,” she said.

“I am currently in a wheelchair due to having major ankle surgery two weeks ago, so my 9-year-old son was pushing me and my 13-year-old daughter was in front of me.

“During the rush in the doors, my daughter and I got separated.

“I found my daughter to the side, crying. She informed me that she was being pushed by people, as the toilet paper was right near the entry and they were trying to get it.

“She was pushed to the ground and then stood on by adults who had no care in the world for a child on the floor.”

The Baldivis mother praised Coles staff and the stores’ manager for their assistance during the ordeal.

“The manager was great. He took us back to his office, iced my daughter’s knee and gave both kids a chocolate,” Ms Zache said.

“If everyone just did their normal shop everything would be fine and no one would be getting hurt or missing out [on] essentials.”

The 13-year-old girl sustained an injured knee her mother said.

“Her knee is swollen and very sore, but more then anything, it was scary for her and has really shaken her,” Ms Zache said.

“We have seen a doctor, had X-rays and [are] now waiting [for] results.”

When asked what support was being offered to the girl, a Coles spokesman urged shoppers to show “compassion towards fellow customers and team members during this challenging time”.

“Coles takes the wellbeing of our customers and team members seriously and we are constantly reviewing security measures to manage the unprecedented levels of demand we are seeing in our stores,” the Coles spokesman said.

Ms Zache told Skeer Media her family were doing the best they could to avoid the Coronavirus.

“We are just making sure we wash hands regularly, kids have hand soap and sanitizer in their school bags,” she said.

“We have to be careful of the virus as I, myself, have just had an operation and my immune systems is not great right now, and then my partner is a chronic asthmatic.

“He needs his Ventolin to survive, but there is a shortage on that as well at the moment.”

Tex Reeks

Texas (Tex) Reeks is a video journalist and national award-winning news photographer. Reeks' dedication and commitment to local news media and telling stories has seen him build an extensive portfolio in Western Australia's news industry from a young age. Writing online stories and covering news events for Perth's mainstream media networks, Reeks, has covered and broken some of WA's biggest breaking news stories including shark attacks, police manhunts, plane crashes, major crime investigations, and major political incidents. Reeks' interest and knowledge in criminology and policing results in his focus on crime and court stories.
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