Seven-year-old Coventry girl killed by skip lorry

Police in the West Midlands are investigating after a seven-year-old girl was killed by an empty skip lorry on a busy road in Coventry on Tuesday (18 October).

Police investigating after seven-year-old girl killed by skip lorry
The girl, who has been named by West Midlands Police as Sophia McDonald, was hit by a ‘slow moving’ skip lorry operated by local waste management company Tom White Waste on the busy Henley Road at around 4pm on Tuesday.

A GP working across the road from the incident attempted to help and West Midlands Ambulance Service says that, although paramedics arrived within five minutes, McDonald was confirmed dead at the scene.

A spokesperson from the ambulance service has since said that the child’s mother was treated by ambulance crews and taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and that the man driving the skip lorry, who stopped at the scene and has not been arrested, was also assessed by paramedics and taken to a different hospital.

The driver, a man in his 50s, is now assisting officers from the police with their investigation into the incident.

Hit crossing traffic

Tom White, Managing Director of Tom White Waste, said: “I arrived at the scene 20 minutes after the accident.

“The lorry was empty and the driver was on his way back to the yard. He was waiting in the middle lane approaching the traffic lights. The little girl must have crossed one lane of traffic before she was hit.

Police investigating after seven-year-old girl killed by skip lorry
Sophia McDonald, 'a happy-go-lucky little girl'
“The driver was not aware of anything until he heard a bump. He moved no more than a yard before he hit her. He was taken to hospital. He has worked with me for 10 years and has an excellent record.

“We all regret what has happened and send our deepest condolences to the girl’s family. We are all family men here and we are all sorry about what has happened.”

Tom White Waste, a family-run business based in Coventry, began as a skip-hire company in 1981, but has since expanded to provide commercial waste collection, household waste management and recycling services. This summer it opened a new £10-million materials recovery facility (MRF) for commercial and industrial waste at its waste transfer station in Coventry.

Police seeking witnesses

Sergeant Alan Wood, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The investigation is in its early stages and enquiries are continuing. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed what happened or has any information that could help with the investigation to contact us.

“In particular, I would appeal to any drivers or passengers who were in the traffic near to the collision to come forward. This includes a black taxicab.

“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with Sophia’s family at this difficult time. They have thanked everyone for their kind wishes, but ask the press to respect their privacy and that of their friends and neighbours at this sad time.”  

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