Girl killed: the scene in Streatham and left, Hani Haji Hassan Scene picture: Martin Pitchley
by John Dunne and Katie Wilson
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The father of an 11-year-old girl who died when she was hit by a lorry after getting off the school bus today spoke of his agonising decision to turn her life support machine off.
Hani Haji Hassan, who had dreamt of being a doctor, suffered severe head injuries when she stepped out into the path of a food delivery lorry in Streatham yesterday afternoon.
Aweis Haji, 43, said he could not have wanted a better daughter and that she had been a “perfect girl”.
“No parents should have to take the decision we had to and turn off the life support it is the worst experience to see your daughter like that.
“We as a family are devastated. Hani was very clever and wanted to be a doctor. She studied very hard and had every chance of making her dream come true.”
He said she was cherished by all the family who are of Somali origin.
Hani was returning home from lessons at the Harris Academy in Merton and was the oldest of six daughters.
Her father said: “She was the oldest and so helped to look after all the others. She was a fantastic sister and daughter. We cannot believe she has gone.
“She also had lots of friends and could not have been a better person.”
The driver of the lorry stopped at the scene, on the South Circular road, but has not been arrested.
Witnesses said Hani’s mother was screaming and crying in the street and had to be treated for shock.
Everald McLeggon, 62, said: “I was walking down the street and saw the girl on the floor in the road. Her head was bleeding and paramedics were doing CPR to try and save her.
“Her mum was just screaming and crying her head off. She had to be treated for shock.
“Then her father came running out. He was holding his head in his hands.
“I’m a big man but I’ve got kids and even I had to cry a bit when I saw what had happened.”
Diana James, 47, said: “After getting off the bus I heard the girl crossed the road between two buses and was hit.
“I think it had been parked behind the bus when it stopped, went round it and sped out without seeing her.
“This road is so dangerous - there have been a few accidents here in the past few years, including two young children who have died.”
Mrs James told how paramedics worked on Hani for more than 30 minutes and had to resuscitate her five or six times.
She said a woman doctor also stopped to help before Hani was taken to King’s College Hospital at around 4pm.
She was put on a life-support machine but that was turned off within hours with her parents at her bedside.
Officers from Hampton traffic garage are now investigating the incident.
Anybody with information should call 020 8941 9011 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.