Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds hit-and-run children's aunt in plea to driver

Saima Rafique
Image caption The children's aunt said the family had been looking forward to celebrating Eid together

The aunt of two children who were seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident in Leeds has made a plea for the driver to come forward.

Rayhaan Saleem, two, and his 10-year-old sister Sabah were hit by a car in Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, on Saturday.

Sabah remains in a critical but stable condition at Leeds General Infirmary. Her brother is "improving".

Their aunt Saima Rafique said: "He or she [the driver] needs to give themselves up. We want an explanation."

Police said Sabah had taken her brother to a local shop on Saturday and they were heading home when they were hit near the Makkah Masjid mosque at about 17:20 BST.

'Catastrophic incident'

Ms Rafique said the children were knocked down as they returned with food for the family's Eid celebrations.

Image caption This is the car, a silver or grey mark 4 Vauxhall Astra, police believe was involved in the incident

The driver slowed down to see what had happened and then sped away, West Yorkshire Police added.

Police have released CCTV images showing the car they want to trace in connection with the incident and a woman they believe may have witnessed the incident.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, who is leading the inquiry, said: "A major investigation remains ongoing into what has been a catastrophic incident for Sabah and Rayhaan's family on what should have been one of the happiest weekends of their year.

"Specialist officers are working to support the family, who are clearly extremely distressed, and for their sake we ask anyone who can help us more quickly find the driver responsible for this collision to come forward now."

'My princess'

Image caption Police believe this woman may have seen the incident and urged her to contact them

The children's aunt said her nephew's condition was improving but her niece was "still serious".

"I really want my princess home," she said.

"She had just completed her Holy Koran three days ago and was so happy.

"She had a cake ordered especially for her, we were going to celebrate on Eid day. She didn't get to see her cake."

Police said the Astra was a mark four model, meaning it was made between 1998 and 2005.

He said CCTV had been examined and experts would study more footage to try to identify the car's registration number.

"I would appeal to that driver to come forward so he or she can tell us what happened," he said.

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