Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Toddler's death ruled accidental

The death of a toddler who was hit by her father's car as he reversed was a tragic accident, a coroner has said.

Greta Davison, daughter of well-known Ledbury fruit farmer Angus Davison, died in February after being struck by his car as he left for work.

Hereford coroner David Halpern said the 17-month-old girl's death was "a family's worst nightmare" and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The inquest heard Greta died almost instantly from head injuries.

Nobody saw what happened but it is thought she ran out of the house and was struck by a wheel of the car.

'Miss her terribly'

She was found almost immediately after, lying on the gravel driveway, by the family's au pair Gabrielle Ferenzi.

Her mother attempted resuscitation straight away and a paramedic arrived at the house and tried to restart her heart.

She was taken to Hereford Hospital by ambulance but did not start breathing again.

Mr Davison said he did not hear or feel anything as he reversed and had not realised Greta was hurt until he was contacted at work.

Pc Alan Paton, of West Mercia Police, said tests carried out on Mr Davison's BMW had found numerous blind spots in his mirrors.

He said he would not have seen Greta even if she had been standing up.

The car also had a reversing sensor which did not go off but tests found that this would only have been activated if Greta had been standing in certain points and would not have sounded if she had slipped or stumbled on to the floor.

Det Insp Alan Mardell, head of the Herefordshire child protection unit at West Mercia Police, said there was nothing at all to indicate that Greta's death was anything other than a tragic accident.

In a statement her parents said: "We miss her terribly and wish to be left in peace."

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