Parents pay tribute to ‘beautiful daughter’ who was killed by falling branch in Cambridgeshire park

THE parents of a 13-year-old girl crushed to death by a falling tree branch in a Cambridgeshire park have today paid tribute to their beautiful and enthusiastic daughter.

Sophie Howard, a pupil at Sawtry Community College, was hit by a 15ft falling branch after visiting Middletons Road Recreation Ground, in Yaxley, yesterday.

The teenager, who has a twin brother, had been spending time with friends after her school was closed by the teaching strike.

Off-duty doctors had rushed to the girl’s aid after the incident, which happened at just after 2.30pm. She was taken to Peterborough City Hospital where she later died.

Sophie’s parents Martin and Laura Howard said: “Sophie was a beautiful girl who had so many friends and we will miss her with all our heart.

“She was enthusiastic at school and liked English. She loved music, especially JLS and Jessie J.

“She was an excellent runner and enjoyed running the Race for Life for charity. She was a typical girlie girl and loved socialising, make-up and fashion. Her friends were very important to her.

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“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and family for their support at this difficult time. Sophie has a twin brother who is also suffering greatly.

“Our beloved daughter’s death was a tragic incident, which occurred only 24 hours ago, and we do not want it to be connected to any other events.”

Hundreds of tributes flooded in for the teenager on Facebook last night. One read: “Such sad news that has left everyone devastated. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sophie’s family, to all her friends that were there today and for all the lives that she has so obviously touched.

“Such a tragic, heart-wrenching day. May you never be forgotten and may the angels hold you tight.”

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