A YOUNG girl is fighting for her life after being left lying in the gutter by a hit-and-run driver.

Angeline Malik, 12, was struck by the car at 5.10pm on Friday as she crossed Grange Road, in Hartlepool, and was left lying in a pool of blood for 30 minutes only yards from her home.

Her pregnant mother, Abida, 34, only learnt that Angeline had been knocked down when a neighbour told her she had seen the ambulance that rushed her to hospital.

A police spokesman said yesterday the car involved in the accident was recovered on Saturday. An 18-year-old local man has been arrested and released on bail.

Angeline's uncle, Mohammed Ramzan, 37, said: "She was coming to my home to see our newborn baby when she was hit by the car.

"We are also very concerned about her mother, Abida, as she is pregnant and we are really worried about what the shock will do to her and the baby."

The High Tunstall Secondary School pupil was first taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool, before being transferred to the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, suffering from severe head injuries.

Her condition was described last night as critical but stable.

Her parents are keeping a vigil at her bedside as relatives from across the country travelled to join them.

Mr Ramzan said it was the third time family members had been involved in accidents or near misses on the road.

Two years ago, Angeline's seven-year-old brother, Aamir, was pulled out of the way of a car by his aunt, Tazen Najib, when a driver lost control and the vehicle he was driving mounted the pavement.

Three years before that, a cousin was hit by a car while crossing the road and was lucky to escape with cuts and bruises.

The family is calling for a pedestrian crossing. Mr Ramzan said: "This is a dangerous road, and the council should be doing something about it."