A young demolition worker is fighting for life after she was hit in the head by a JCB while at work.

Shannon Brasier, 20, from Dagenham, has a brain injury, severe damage to her facial bones, a broken back and is currently in a coma on life support at the Royal London Hospital.

She was airlifted to hospital after being struck at a site in Southend-on-Sea on Tuesday afternoon.

Detectives are investigating and have arrested a 55-year-old man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Miss Brasier’s cousin Scarlett Smith, 28, said: “This has been shocking for the entire family and we still don’t know exactly what happened.

“Shannon is much older than her years, really mature and looks after everyone in the family. She is the most wonderful, beautiful person. Every day we are praying that she will be able to wake up. We are all devastated.”

Miss Brasier’s younger siblings Riley, 18, and Bailey, 11, have only been allowed short visits to the hospital because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Miss Brasier’s mother, Lena, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had been shielding.

The family has started an online fundraising campaign to help them pay for the cost of hospital visits and bills.

Ms Smith said: “Shannon has been working since she was 15… She was paying the majority of the bills and looking after her mum.”

Essex Police said a 55-year old man was arrested and has since been released under investigation. A spokesman for Ace Demolition said the company was working with police and the Health and Safety Executive.