British girl killed by car on US beach

A British girl aged four was killed by a car on a Florida beach when the driver apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake after knocking her down.

Ellie Bland, from Nottingham, was on the sands at Daytona Beach when the incident happened on Saturday afternoon, according to the Highway Patrol.

The driver, Barbara Worley, 66, from Elberton, Georgia, was travelling below the 10mph speed limit in the beach's designated travel lanes, Florida Highway Patrol said in a statement.

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Ellie was walking hand in hand with her uncle but stepped out in front of the car and was struck by the front of it. Bystanders shouted for the driver to stop, which she did as Ellie lay in front of her car. But Ms Worley then ran her over.

The statement said: "For an unknown reason, the driver panicked and hit the accelerator instead of the brake."

Ellie was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Highway Patrol said it was investigating and that charges were pending.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in Florida on March 20.

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"The next of kin have been informed and we are providing them with assistance."

Driving is allowed on the sands of Daytona Beach but motorists are advised to watch for pedestrians, sunbathers and wildlife.