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Devon girl, five, killed at Cornwall fair, named by police

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 11, 2012

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A five-year-old girl who died after she was apparently accidentally run-over by a truck, as it reversed slowly at a country fair, has been named by police as Tayla Saunders.

The youngster from Devon was at the rally steam fair in Cornwall on Saturday when the incident happened.

Eye-witnesses said the child dashed behind the commercial vehicle as it was being driven backwards at the Lanlivery Vintage Rally, Steam Fair and Country Fair, near Lostwithiel.

Tayla was in the care of Social Services at Devon County Council and came from Honiton.

She was at the event on Saturday with her foster parents, who are also from Honiton.

A Devon County Council spokesperson said yesterday the authority was helping Tayla's carers to cope with the death.

He said: "This has been the most tragic accident.

"We are supporting the foster parents in every way we can and we will be helping the police with their investigation."

Police were yesterday continuing to piece together the events leading up to the incident, which happened at around 11.40am. It is believed that the youngster had spotted the helter-skelter ride and was running towards it at the time.

One eye-witness said: "We heard a little girl scream.

"It was a truck that was reversing very, very slowly. "She came around the corner of the adjacent field and the truck collided with her.

"It was a tragic accident."

Paramedics who were already at the fair on one of the display stands were around 100 metres away and ran to help the girl, who was still alive.

They were with her until Cornwall Air Ambulance crews arrived to fly her to Derriford Hospital.

En-route the crew carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until hospital staff at Derriford took over.

With the agreement of the family the two-day event went ahead on Sunday as planned.

Organisers held a church service in the field on the same day and the family attended.

For the past 25 years the show has attracted thousands of visitors, with its vintage machines, trade stalls and other attractions to raise funds for local charities.

This year's chosen charities are the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Front Line Emergency Equipment Trust (Fleet) which supports Cornwall's emergency services.

The Cornwall Air Ambulance was on the scene within 11 minutes of receiving the emergency call.

Paula Martin, chief executive at the Newquay-based charity said members of the organisation at the event were "shocked and "distressed" by Tayla's death.

She said: "Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust would like to thank Tayla's family, for their agreement to continue the event following the tragic accident on the Saturday.

"The fundraising team were present at the rally, and shared the shock and distress of the circumstances of the accident. Everyone in the charity and clinical teams is very sorry that despite every effort, Tayla's life could not be saved."

Officers from Bodmin Serious Collisions Investigation Unit are in charge of the case.

A police spokesman said: "Our officers are continuing to conduct a full investigation into the incident."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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