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Bus death girl was West End dancer

A 12-year-old Billy Elliot dancer killed by a double-decker bus was "living her dream," her grieving family has said.

Charlotte Leatherbarrow was crossing a road near her home when she was struck down. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The schoolgirl is understood to have played a young ballerina in the long-running West End stage production.

Her family said: "Charlotte was a fun-loving, thoughtful, caring and bubbly girl. She loved life and lived it to the full, already living her dream as a dancer."

Children's dance captain Alan Bradshaw, who worked closely with Charlotte during her stint on Billy Elliot, paid tribute to the youngster on behalf of fellow members of cast and crew.

"Charlotte was the most adorable girl," he said. "She was lively and energetic, had a wonderful smile and was an absolute pleasure to work with.

A spokesman for the production said: "The cast, crew and production team of Billy Elliot The Musical were devastated to hear the tragic news about 12-year-old Charlotte Leatherbarrow, one of the show's young performers. At this terribly sad time our thoughts are with her family."

Charlotte was hit by a bus while crossing Herne Hill Road in south-east London on Thursday evening. The bus driver, who was treated at the scene, escaped without serious injury. The accident is being investigated by police.

The family added: "As a family, we ask that our privacy be respected, so that we can be left alone to grieve at this time. Each and every one of us will miss her enormously."

An inquest into Charlotte's death is to be opened and adjourned, Scotland Yard said. A post-mortem examination will be carried out on Monday.


From Belfast Telegraph