Tributes to toddler hit by van driver

21-month-old Poppy Boothroyd died after she was hit by a van.
21-month-old Poppy Boothroyd died after she was hit by a van.
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A TODDLER died in an horrific tragedy when a van driver accidentally reversed over her.

Poppy Boothroyd, who was 21 months old, died after the incident in St James Way, a cul-de-sac in Rawthorpe, Huddersfield, on Wednesday afternoon.

It is believed that she was being cared for by a friend of her mother, who was taking her to a local shop when Poppy wandered into the road.

A Ford Transit BT van was reversing into the street and the driver failed to see the little girl.

Neighbours in the close-knit community heard screams and came running to help.

Poppy lived with mum Melissa McKay, while her father, Jordan Boothroyd, is from nearby.

A family statement, released through police, said: “Poppy was just Poppy. She was our amazing little girl, our perfect little angel.

“We are all heartbroken that she has been taken from us in such tragic circumstances.

“She was a little star and we will never forget her.”

At the scene yesterday, floral tributes had been left to the toddler. Along with the flowers and heartfelt messages young children have also left crayon drawings of their late friend along with teddy bears.

Family friend Mark Senior, 50, said: “Poppy was a very bright and bubbly girl. I know Poppy’s mother and it’s a sad time for all concerned.

“The girl (who Poppy was with) is great with kids and we feel awful for her. Me and my girlfriend are going to give our support in any way we can.

“Poppy was a very popular little girl as you can see from all the flowers and tributes. We’re coming to bring a little teddy bear later on to add to the memorial.”

One witness whose son Connor, 16, helped perform CPR, said: “The whole community is devastated for the family and it’s such a sad time.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, added: “Poppy’s mum was so thankful to my son Connor for helping out in the CPR, but he’s in bits.

“I’m going to have to take him somewhere next week because he’s distraught. I’ll be attending the funeral along with the rest of the community.”

Lisa Hopson, who lives just round the corner from Poppy’s mum, said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

“My kids always used to play with Poppy and her sister Tia. I cannot begin to imagine what the family are going through.

“She was such a beautiful, bonny young thing and was always smiling and laughing.”

One member of the St James’ Parish Church, which is close to the scene of the accident, said: “I was passing by when the ambulances arrived.

“I can only describe the scene as chaos. It must be a horrible time for family and friends.”

Neighbour Lynn Marie Richardson, 41, said the BT engineer had just left her home when she heard screaming from outside.

“I saw the baby on the floor and everybody was screaming. It’s just horrendous.”

The emergency services were called at 2.24pm and Poppy was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

West Yorkshire Police inquiries into the incident are continuing.

andrew.robinson1@ypn.co.uk