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Mum finds daughter dead in street after hit-and-run collision

By Pat Hurst

Two young girls were holding hands crossing the road when they were mown down by a hit-and-run driver, leaving one dead and the other fighting for her life in hospital.

Twelve-year-old Helina Kotlarova and Zaneta Krokova (11) had just come out of a shop near their homes when they were hit by a black VW Golf on Ashton Road in Oldham, Greater Manchester, at around 7.15pm on New Year's Eve.

Helina's mother Sylva and father Robert raced to the scene but she was declared dead by medics as her distraught mother stroked her hair.

Yesterday the family of seven sisters and one brother, who came to England from the Czech Republic eight years ago, sat in tears mourning Helina. Her father sat with his head in his hands, his wife weeping, while other red-eyed members of the family sat in silence in the kitchen of their terraced home.

Helina's sister Sylva (19) told how the family rushed to the scene 100 yards from their home seconds after the crash.

"Her face was all bloody. She did not breathe. Mum was touching her hair," she said.

The driver of the car did not stop and a police hunt for him was launched.

Miss Kotlarova said that the girls were with a larger group of family and friends who had already crossed the road, one of the main routes in and out of Oldham town centre, and the larger group was waiting on the opposite pavement. The two cousins then started to cross the road outside the shop.

Miss Kotlarova said: "But as they came to the other side of the road the car ran them over. They were holding hands."

Witnesses described the car as driving fast and "flying away" after the collision. Seconds later friends ran to Helina's home to alert the family.

Police put out an appeal on New Year's Eve for information to locate the driver and the car involved in the incident, and police later told the family "they found him", according to Miss Kotlarova.

Greater Manchester Police were unable to confirm whether an arrest had been made or the car found.

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