Tributes to buggy death girl, three
Published 25/03/2013 | 23:11
Tributes have been paid to a three-year-old girl who died after her buggy was reportedly blown into the path of a van by a gust of wind.
The girl, named locally as Olivia Uffindell, died in hospital shortly after the collision on Monday morning.
Police were called by the London Ambulance Service shortly before 9am following reports that a Mercedes Sprinter van had struck a child in Woburn Court, Croydon, south London. The toddler was taken to St George's Hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 10am.
Witnesses said her mother, named as Louise Uffindell, 29, left the pushchair on the pavement outside her home to fetch something from inside when it was blown into the road and struck by a van. A single floral tribute lay outside the family's home as neighbours expressed their shock at the youngster's death.
Temi Ismail-Sobogun, 22, who has a two-year-old son, said: "She was a beautiful little girl. I'm gripping on to my son's pram now every moment. Even the wind coming along the road today shows how easy it must have been to just go into the road."
Another neighbour, Glenford Evans, added: "She's a lovely mother and daughter. Everyone's really devastated by it. We just hope it's something that doesn't happen again to anyone. She was a beautiful little girl. Very quiet, very friendly. It's just absolutely awful."
One resident said Ms Uffindell shouted in desperation "I know you are going to die" following the collision, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The resident told the newspaper: "Her mother was screaming. She said she had left her in her buggy outside her house for a few moments when she went back inside to get something. She said the wind had pushed the buggy over and a van had crashed into her. A woman who was a passenger in the van came out and said the buggy just came out of nowhere."
The 36-year-old van driver, who stopped at the scene, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving after the incident. He was taken to a south London police station where he was later bailed to a date in May. Formal identification and a post-mortem examination are due to be carried out.
Police are appealing for witnesses and officers from the Road Death Investigation Unit are investigating. The possibility that the pram was blown into the path of the van "will form part of our investigation", said a Metropolitan police spokesman.