Sittingbourne girl killed by falling branch in high winds

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image captionHigh winds caused a tree branch to break in Parsonage Lane, Bobbing

An eight-year-old girl was killed by a falling branch during high winds while walking dogs with her grandparents, an inquest heard.

Maisy Mayne suffered "catastrophic" injuries and died instantly when she was struck on the head.

She had been walking with her two young siblings, their grandparents and family dogs at a wooded spot in Bobbing, Kent, in August.

A coroner in Maidstone recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Maisy's sister also sustained serious injuries on 21 August including a cut to her head and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Trees in the area were seen to be swaying "significantly", the inquest heard, buffeted by winds between 28mph and 31mph, with gusts as high as 40mph.

As the dogs jumped into a pond, Maisy and her siblings, from Sittingbourne, went to look at a fallen tree.

A large branch then fell from a tree, trapping her beneath it.

'Tragic'

Perry Bailey, her grandfather, said in a statement at the inquest: "I tried to move the tree from Maisy but it was too much weight to move on my own.

"I thought that she was dead."

Maisy had suffered injuries including severe head trauma and a broken leg, the inquest heard.

The coroner was told the lane where the incident happened had been a public right of way until 2014 but was no longer.

Assistant coroner James Dillon said: "The fact of this inquest is it's tragic, it's an unforeseeable tragic circumstance that Maisy happened to be beneath the tree when the branch fell.

"As another parent I understand the tragedy that has unfolded here."

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

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