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A three-year-old girl has been rushed to hospital with serious injuries after being hit by a car near a supermarket.

Dorset Police said the girl suffered “potentially life-changing” injuries in the incident near a Waitrose in Le Neubourg Way in Gillingham.

The collision, which took place on Thursday morning, involved a red Seat Leon car.

The girl was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital.

The driver of the Seat, a 43-year-old man from Gillingham, was arrested on suspicion of driving offences. He is assisting officers with their enquiries.

Sergeant Rhys Griffiths, who is investigating the incident, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the young girl involved in this collision and we are carrying out a full investigation to establish exactly what happened.

“I would urge any witnesses who have not already spoken to police or anyone who may have captured the incident on dashcam to please contact us.

“Finally, I would like to thank members of their public for their patience and understanding while the road closures are in place.

“These are necessary to allow for the emergency services to deal with the incident and for a detailed examination of the scene to be carried out safely.”