Eight-year-old Maddie was rushed to hospital

Britney Spears’ niece is reportedly in a critical condition after a freak accident left her submerged underwater for ‘several minutes’.

Eight-year-old Maddie Aldridge, daughter of former child actress and songwriter Jamie Lynn Spears, was airlifted to hospital after a Polaris off-roading vehicle, that she was a passenger in, flipped over – and fans have rushed to send their well wishes.

More: From Britney Spears to Zayn Malik, we take a look at the dark side of pop 

Read: All the Latest Celebrity News 

Reported by TMZ on Sunday (5th February), Maddie and family were on a hunting trip in Kentwood, Louisiana – hometown to Britney and Jamie Lynn. According to the outlet, Maddie was unconscious when help arrived.

Maddie’s grandfather, Jamie Spears, confirmed the tragedy to Entertainment Tonight, calling on fans to pray for her: ‘All I can say is pray for our baby Maddie.’

Jamie Lynn Spears with Maddie and husband Jamie Watson

Well-meaning fans have wasted no time in spreading positivity online – one wrote: ‘I send my heart, thoughts, and prayers to Jamie Lynn Spears’ daughter, Maddie. Stay strong and keep fighting.’

Jamie Lynn, 25, gave birth to her daughter when she was 17. At the time, it made global news since she was the star of Nickelodeon show Zoey 101 – the programme was cancelled soon after the announcement of her pregnancy.

She wasn’t with her daughter at the time of the accident, but has since released a statement appealing for privacy, while thanking fans for support:

‘Right now the Spears family asks that everyone respect their privacy during this time and appreciates all the prayers and support.’