PARENTS have paid tribute to their “treasured daughter”, killed by a hit and run driver on holiday in Gran Canaria.
Abigail Harris, 12, of Dewsbury, died on Sunday evening when a car mounted the pavement in the resort of Puerto Rico, soon after the family celebrated the birthday of her sister.
Her mother, Nicola, witnessed the accident and needed treatment for shock.
Abigail’s friend, Thomas Thackray, also 12, was injured but has been released from hospital.
A family statement referring to parents Nicola and Tony Harris, said: “Abbi and her sister Jessica are the most important things in their lives.
“Abbi has been snatched from them in particularly tragic circumstances.
“She was nearing the end of a holiday and had just been celebrating Jessica’s birthday with her.
“A car has mounted the pavement and struck Abbi and her friend Thomas Thackray. The poor kids didn’t have chance to get out of the way.
“Thomas has been injured too, but has now been released from hospital on the island.
“Nicola, Jessica and Thomas’s dad Keith saw the incident and are trying to recover from the shock of it.”
The statement concluded: “Abbi the youngest was, and always will remain the ‘little sweetheart’ of her mum and dad.”
At the scene of Sunday’s accident, onlookers saw a blue Ford Escort leaving the road and hitting the children before carrying on as desperate family members tried to revive them.
The incident happened near a taxi rank and one of the drivers gave chase, catching up with the vehicle as it pulled up 300 yards away.
Diario de Las Palmas newspaper reported the taxi driver advised the man not to flee and convinced him to return to the scene.
The Columbian man was arrested alongside his daughter who was also in the car.
Ambulances were on the scene within minutes, but Abigail could not be saved. A helicopter was scrambled, but was not needed.
Abigail’s headteacher at St John Fisher School, Kevin Higgins, said: “Everybody within the St John Fisher Catholic School community was deeply saddened to hear the news of Abigail’s death and Thomas’s injuries while on holiday.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to the families involved at this very sad time.
“Abigail was a very popular member of the school community. She was in Year 8 and popular with friends and staff.
“A special assembly was held in school on Monday morning to tell pupils what had happened.
“There is a great deal of shock and outpouring of emotion as would be expected, but the school has ensured that support for students is in place.
“Abigail was a typical 12-year-old, full of fun.
“St John Fisher is a Catholic school and prayers have already been said by all the students and staff asking for comfort for the family and all affected by this deeply sad tragedy.
“Arrangements will be made for a number of services to be held in the very near future, as is our Catholic tradition.
“We hope that it will be possible for members of Abigail’s family to join us at a service when they are able.”
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We can confirm two British nationals were involved in a hit-and-run car accident in Gran Canaria on April 18.
“Sadly, one of the British nationals died. Another British national has been hospitalised.
“We are providing consular assistance. Local police are investigating the incident.”