Coventry & Warwickshire

Girl, 7, dies after being hit by skip lorry in Coventry

Sophia McDonald Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Police said Sophia McDonald was struck by a "slow moving" lorry

A seven-year-old girl has died after she was hit by a skip lorry as she crossed a road in Coventry.

The girl, who has been named by police as Sophia McDonald, was on Henley Road, in Wood End, when she was struck by the "slow moving" lorry at about 16:00 BST on Tuesday, police said.

A GP from a nearby practice got to the scene before paramedics but the child was confirmed dead at the scene.

The girl's mother and the truck driver were treated for the effects of shock.

More updates on this and other stories in Coventry

Image caption Relative Donna Proctor said the girl's mother had been screaming

A statement from Sophia's family said: "She was a beautiful angel, the happiest child with a beautiful cheeky smile.

"She was a very loving, kind hearted, happy-go-lucky little girl who loved her family. We are devastated at her loss."

Relative Donna Proctor told BBC News she was with the child's mother when the crash happened and they heard a "screech".

"My cousin was just running round and round in circles in the middle of the road just screaming.... there was nothing we could do for her daughter."

Meanwhile the employer of the driver involved said his employee was "absolutely broken-hearted".

Paul White, the managing director at Tom White Waste, based in Longford, said the man did not see the youngster as he made his way back to its site less than two miles away.

He added: "We're a family company. The vast majority of employees have got children. It's an absolute tragedy.

"We offer our condolences to the family."

Image caption Witness Joanne Taylor said she had seen the girl being covered in blankets

St Laurence's CE Primary school, in Old Church Road, Coventry, said it understood Sophia was one of its pupils.

A statement said: "As you can imagine the school community is deeply shocked and saddened. We are currently helping pupils, staff and parents come to terms with this heart-breaking news."

Witness Joanne Taylor said: "People just covered her over with blankets.

"Obviously the ambulances came, the police came... the mother was distraught, just running around hysterically screaming 'my baby, my baby'. It was really upsetting."

The girl's mother and the lorry driver were taken to hospital.

The road was closed for several hours while emergency services investigated the crash.

Sgt Alan Wood, from West Midlands Police, who appealed to witnesses to contact the force, said: "This appears to have been a tragic accident; our thoughts are with the family of the little girl at this difficult time, who are being supported by specialist officers."

Image caption People comforted each other at the scene of the crash earlier
Image caption Mourners have laid flowers at the roadside

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