A five-year-old girl has died after she was hit by a slow moving vehicle at a vintage steam rally and fair.
The youngster had been ‘darting’ towards a helter-skelter ride at the Lanlivery Vintage Rally in Cornwall, when she was struck by a heavy truck as it reversed in the field.
She was treated less than a minute after the accident at 11.40am on Saturday as paramedics had a display stand just 100 metres away.
They made frantic efforts to resuscitate the girl who had been enjoying the day with her foster parents at the annual event near Lostwithiel.
She was taken by air to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where she died a short time later.
A witness working in the catering area at the show was just yards away when she saw the girl running towards fairground attractions.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘We heard a little girl scream. It was a truck that was reversing very, very slowly.
‘The little girl came round the entrance to the field and appeared to be running towards the fairground attractions – there was a helter skelter just 100 yards away.
‘She came around the corner of the adjacent field and the truck collided with her. It was a tragic accident.’
The family had agreed that the two-day rally should continue over the weekend and attended a church service held at the field this morning in memory of the unnamed girl.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said there would a full investigation into the incident.
He added: ‘The child was with her foster parents who live in Devon, her details are not being released at this time until interested parties are all aware.’
A message posted on the rally’s Facebook page hours after the horror incident read: ‘A tragic accident occurred today.
‘The family involved have expressed a wish that the rally should continue today and tomorrow,. particularly as it is raising money for the Air Ambulance which came to help.
‘The family and the rally organisers request that this incident is not talked about on Facebook as it is very upsetting for the family at this sensitive time.
‘Great sympathy goes out to the family from the organisers and the people of Lanlivery.’
The show is held on the second weekend of September each year and raises money for local charities.
For over 25 years the rally has hosted a variety of country events including a large entry of vintage machinery and cars, rollers and traction engines.
The attractions include beer tents, ploughing, archery, clay pigeon shooting and the fairground.
Diane Williams, the event secretary, revealed the driver of the vehicle involved had checked no one was behind before he moved backwards.
She said: ‘He is a very safety conscious driver and he saw there was nothing there behind him. But the little girl darted out and ran into the back of the truck.’
The county’s Health and Safety Executive has been informed of the girl’s death.
Police based at Bodmin serious collisions investigation unit are appealing for witnesses to this incident to contact them on 101 quoting log number 396 of 08/09/2012.’