A two-year-old died in the UK when her father accidentally ran her down in what a coroner described as “one of the most tragic cases” she has seen.
Evelyn Celgy was killed outside Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena where her family were due to attend a bible convention where her mother was speaking.
The toddler, from Crewe, was struck at low speed by the Nissan Qashqai driven by her father Celgy Thomas at around 8am on Saturday July 11.
Evelyn, described by her father as a “happy child”, was rushed to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre but later died of her injuries.
Mr Thomas said he did not see his daughter standing in front of the car as he pulled away from a drop-off point where he left his wife, two sons and Evelyn.
In a statement read at Nottingham Coroner’s Court, Mr Thomas described the moment of the accident.
He said: “I had only moved a short distance when I heard my wife scream. I had only travelled one car length or one-and-a-half.
“Initially I thought the boys were misbehaving.”
Mr Thomas said he got out of the car and realised what had happened.
He said: “To my horror, I could see her lying six feet away. Evelyn was not moving and was unconscious.
“I realised I had accidentally run over her. I called her name but she was unresponsive.
“My wife was crying. I began to scream.”
Other people attending the Sehion UK Convention, including a doctor, began to help and Evelyn was taken by paramedics to hospital, but she later died of a traumatic brain injury.
The inquest heard evidence from forensic crash investigator Pc Mark Gascoigne, who said the raised driving position in the Qashqai meant Evelyn was standing in a blind spot.
He said: “These types of vehicles have an inherent problem where we have a substantial blind spot when you are dealing with bollards.”
Coroner Mairin Casey said it was clear Mr Thomas was not at fault for the death of his daughter.
Recording a conclusion of death by a road traffic collision, she said: “This was an incident that happened by chance without an apparent cause.
“It was unexpected. It was unpredictable.”
Addressing Mr Thomas, she said: “I know you will have gone through this in your mind many, many times.
“This is a case that I can describe cause that in many ways is a very simple forensic case, but in terms of the level of tragedy involved, it is difficult to imagine a more tragic scenario.
“There is nothing you could have done to avoid this situation.”