‘Sunny’ South Yorkshire schoolgirl killed in crash after buying sweets

Friends  leave flowers at the crash scene
Friends leave flowers at the crash scene
Have your say

Tributes have been paid to a ‘delightful’ South Yorkshire schoolgirl killed a collision with a car – as she returned to her grandma’s after buying sweets.

The 11-year-old, named locally as Ella Smith, was returning to her grandmother’s house after buying chocolate at a nearby shop when the tragedy happened.

The collision, which involved a Citroen C3, happened on Watch House Lane, Bentley, Doncaster, at around 4.35pm on Thursday.

Ella was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary but died on Thursday night.

Beverley Lockwood, headteacher at Bentley Kirkby Avenue School, where Ella was a pupil, called the 11-year-old a ‘shining light’,

She said: “Everyone at the school is completely devastated. She was a delightful and sunny girl and an exemplary pupil. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.

“She’s been with us at Kirkby Primary since she was in the nursery at three, so this is devastating.”

Neighbours said Ella was running back to her grandmother’s house from a store just 30 yards away when the collision occurred.

A woman, believed to be Ella’s grandmother, burst into tears when asked about the incident and said: “I can’t talk. She was my granddaughter. I just can’t talk.”

Flowers have been placed at the scene of the crash.

One card, attached to a red rose, read: “To Ella Bella, you will always be my best friend xxx. I will love you forever. Love from Chloe, Cedar Class xxxxxxx.”

Yvonne McFarlane, 57, of Watch House Lane, said: “I heard all of the emergency services turn up and when I opened the door she was just lying on the pavement in front of my house.

“My next door neighbour was looking after her and had put a blanket over her.

“He had seen it all happen, he said she just ran across the road. I think she must have misjudged the distance. It could happen to anyone.

“She was just so still, I’m still shaking. I haven’t been able to sleep from thinking about it all night.”