Girl Killed By Falling Branch
1 July 2011, 10:29 | Updated: 1 July 2011, 16:14
A teenage girl has died after being hit by a falling tree branch in a park in Yaxley, near Peterborough.
13 year old Sophie Howard [pictured - right] was hit by the branch while sitting on a bench in Middletons Road Recreation Ground at about 2:30pm yesterday.
An ambulance was called and the girl was taken to Peterborough City Hospital, where she later died.
The incident is not being treated as suspicious and The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.
Martin and Laura Howard, Sophie's parents, have issued the following statement: "Sophie was a beautiful girl who had so many friends and we will miss her with all our heart.
She was enthusiastic at school and liked English. She loved music, especially JLS and Jessie J.
She was an excellent runner and enjoyed running the Race for Life for charity.
She was a typical girlie girl and loved socialising, make-up and fashion. Her friends were very important to her.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and family for their support at this difficult time. Sophie has a twin brother who is also suffering greatly.
Our beloved daughter's death was a tragic incident, which occurred only 24 hours ago, and we do not want it to be connected to any other events."
A statement from Yaxley Parish Council, which manages the recreation ground, reads: "Yaxley Parish Council acknowledge the tragic incident yesterday afternoon and offers our heart-felt condolences to the family.
The Parish Council are working in liason with the police and other bodies involved and will assist in any way possible.
We urgently await the outcome of any investigation before any further statement can be made."
Members of staff at Sawtry Community College, where Sophie went to school, have also paid tribute.
Professional counsellors have been in the school today, and will also be made available to students next week.
A statement from the college reads: "Sophie was a popular young lady who approached her time at the college with poise and maturity.
She was bright and cheerful and was held in high regard by all those who knew her, especially her friends and teachers.
She was an extremely able student who appeared to have a great future in front of her; she worked hard and had made excellent progress during her time in the college.
Sophie’s loss is a tragedy and our thoughts are with her family and friends today and in the weeks to come, as they struggle to cope with this tragic event."