Verdict offers closure for family of Abigail, 12

Abigail Harris, of Hanging Heaton, died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while on holiday with her family in Gran Canaria.
Abigail Harris, of Hanging Heaton, died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while on holiday with her family in Gran Canaria.
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The family of a young girl had to relive the agonising last moments of her life at an inquest today.

Abigail Harris, 12, of Hanging Heaton, was killed after being hit by a speeding car when she was on holiday in Spain in 2010.

The court heard how Abigail was on holiday in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, with her mum, Nicola and sister, Jessica, and her mum’s boyfriend Keith Thackeray and his son, Thomas on April 18 2010. Thomas and Abigail were stood on a pavement further in front of the group, when a blue Ford Escort mounted the pavement and hit the two of them – the impact was such that it caused their bodies to fly into the air.

The car was then said to have continued driving at speed before returning a couple of minutes later. The court then heard a woman got out of the car and said “I am sorry, I am sorry”.

Abigail suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead by paramedics. Thomas suffered a broken collarbone and taken to hospital.

Ingrid Isabel Noguera Gomez and her father Jaime Noguera were both in the car, although it was not clear who was driving the vehicle. The pair both faced trial for dangerous driving in Spain but, due to a Spanish legal technicality, neither the Coroner nor Abigail’s family could be informed of the verdict.

Coroner Oliver Longstaff recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Summing up, he said: “The conclusion will come as no surprise and no comfort to Abigail’s family, who have had to live with this dreadful event for four years, knowing nothing can bring her back.

“If there is any consolation to be gained, it was that she was utterly unaware of what was going on – take some comfort in the fact that she did not suffer.”