Kaitlin Mitchell was seriously injured as she stepped off a school bus and was struck by a red Vauxhall Astra in Byram, near Knottingley, nearly two weeks ago. She later died of her injuries.
The Sherburn High School pupil lived with her grandparents Kathleen and Brian Mitchell on the same road where the collision took place. Her brother Harry, 13, witnessed the crash at 3.30pm on September 28.
Speaking at the scene of the incident, her grandmother said: “She lived with us, we have had her for ten years and he [the driver] has taken all of our life away from us.
“We would like to thank all of the village for their support.”
Floral tributes have been left at the scene. One read: “To Kath and Brian, Harry and Sophie and extended family.
“We are so sorry to hear Kaitlin has passed away. Sending love and strength to you all.”
Kaitlin’s godmother and neighbour Sue Hudson, 72, said the entire community of Byram had been rocked by her death.
She said: “I was in utter disbelief after finding out the news that something like that had happened - it has really shocked the community here. It’s unbelievable - you can see from the amount of flowers outside the road where she was hit, everybody wants to do something, but there is nothing anyone can do.”
Ms Hudson said the grandparents had looked after siblings Sophie Mitchell, 15, Harry, 13 and 12-year-old Kaitlin since they were toddlers. She added: “Kaitlin’s grandparents Kath and Brian have been their parents from as long as she was only a baby.
“Kath and Brian are lovely people - they are wonderful. You won’t get two better people than Kath and Brian.” Kaitlin attended local school Sherburn High and her headteacher has released a statement about the “much loved” student.
Head Teacher Maria Williams said: “Kaitlin was a much loved Year 8 student who always had a smile on her face.”
Police arrested a man in his 30s and recovered a suspect vehicle in Knottingley. The suspect has been released on bail.