A heartbroken mum has described what it was like to lose her 10-year-old daughter after she was hit by an ambulance heading to an emergency call.
Shaniqua Loftman-Smith was rushed to hospital after the incident on Low Wood Road, Bulwell, at about 6.30pm on December 22, 2019.
She died eight days later.
An inquest at Nottingham Coroners’ Court on December 2 found that Shaniqua died from head injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.
In an emotional statement on behalf of the family, her mother Kerry Smith said: “On December 22, 2019 I received a call – every parent’s worst nightmare. From the moment of the phone call my heart went numb.
“I arrived at the hospital before my child, the wait felt forever.
“I didn’t leave my child’s side for the eight days she continued to fight.
“Shaniqua is a well-known, loving, caring child.
“Shaniqua has a little brother who doesn’t understand what has happened and has left a massive impact on his life.
“He is receiving on-going support. The pain of losing a child is like no other. People say it gets easier but it hurts more every day.
“Not hearing your child’s voice and not seeing her beautiful smile breaks my heart.
“A massive part of my life has been snatched away from me and left a big impact on a lot of people.
“I would like to thank all the people in the community that pulled together to support me and my family.
“I would like to thank all of the people who donated on the go fund me page and helped me give my child the most beautiful send-off.
“I have no further comment at this moment in time and I ask for me and my family to be left privacy.”
The inquest heard Shaniqua had been going to buy sweets and popcorn from a shop when she was struck by the ambulance as it travelled at around 52mph.
The coroner said: “I am satisfied that at the point Shaniqua entered the carriageway she was not aware she was placing herself in imminent collision with the approaching ambulance.
“I find Shaniqua entered the carriageway at speed; by that I mean running or moving quickly”.
The coroner said the ambulance driver was driving at around 52mph in the response to an emergency and claimed legal exemption from the statutory speed limit.
He was not aware the speed limit reduced from 40mph to 30mph 150 metres before the collision.
Although she said he ought to have been aware of the applicable speed limit and the speed was in excess of the Trust’s advisory speed limit, “I cannot say his speed was inappropriate for the circumstances”.
Family Liaison Officer PC Dan Butler, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and I’m glad we have been able to support them through this difficult time.”