Hit-run driver kills Yorkshire girl, 12, on holiday isle; friend injured

THE parents of a 12-year-old girl from West Yorkshire who was knocked down and killed in a hit-and-run accident on Gran Canaria spoke today of their devastation, describing her as a "little sweetheart".

Abigail Harris "didn't have (a) chance" when a car mounted the pavement in the resort of Puerto Rico, on the south coast of Gran Canaria.

The youngster was nearing the end of a family holiday and had been celebrating her sister's birthday when tragedy struck yesterday evening.

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Abigail was knocked down and killed as the families enjoyed an evening stroll in the resort, which also left 12-year-old Thomas Thackray injured.

Heartbroken parents Nicola and Tony Harris, from Dewsbury, released a statement in which they spoke of their "treasured daughter".

The statement said: "Abbi and her sister Jessica are the most important things in their lives.

"Abbi has been snatched from them in particularly tragic circumstances. She was nearing the end of a holiday and had just been celebrating Jessica's birthday with her.

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"A car has mounted the pavement and struck Abbi and her friend Thomas Thackray, the poor kids didn't have chance to get out of the way. Thomas has been injured too but has now been released from hospital on the island.

"Nicola, Jessica and Thomas's dad Keith saw the incident and are trying to recover from the shock of it."

The family were said to be grateful for all the messages of condolence and support, but asked to be left to grieve in their own time.

The problem with the air traffic is only going to compound matters, the family added.

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"Abbi the youngest was, and always will remain the 'little sweetheart' of her mum and dad," the statement concluded.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm two British nationals were involved in a hit-and-run car accident in Gran Canaria on 18 April.

"Sadly, one of the British nationals died. Another British national has been hospitalised.

"We are providing consular assistance. Local police are investigating the incident."

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The accident happened next to a taxi rank and one of the drivers gave chase while other witnesses called the emergency services.

The taxi driver caught-up with the escaping car and spoke to the driver, a man in his fifties, when the vehicle pulled-up some 300 yards away. "I advised him not to flee, that it would be worse, and the guy turned round and went back to the scene of the accident," the cabbie told the Diario de Las Palmas local newspaper.

The man, a Colombian, was arrested by the paramilitary Civil Guard along with his passenger, reported to be his daughter.

Two ambulances were on the scene within minutes but there was nothing they could do for Abigail. A helicopter was also summoned but was not needed.