Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Sunday, 14 February 2010

River Avon car plunge girl Gabrielle Grady dies

Chris Grady
Chris Grady will appear at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday

A girl who was trapped in a car driven by her father when it plunged into a river in Worcestershire has died.

Gabrielle Grady, known as Gabby, died in Birmingham Children's Hospital, West Mercia Police said.

Chris Grady, 41, and Gabby's brother Ryan, six, escaped from the car. Gabby was trapped in the River Avon for two hours on Thursday before being rescued.

Mr Grady, 41, has been charged with attempted murder. Police said it was now a murder investigation.

A police spokesman said Gabby was surrounded by her family when she died.

She had been in a critical condition since being admitted to hospital.

Det Supt Steve Cullen, from West Mercia Police, said: "We are very sad to hear this terrible news and all our thoughts are with Gabby's family at this difficult time."

School 'shocked'

Ryan remained in hospital but his condition was improving, police said. On Friday, he was said to be sitting up in bed and talking.

The silver Vauxhall Vectra went into the river at Boat Lane in Hampton Ferry, near Evesham, on Thursday morning.

West Mercia Police had to call in divers from the neighbouring Avon & Somerset force to carry out the rescue. The divers travelled from Gloucester and arrived after 97 minutes.

Once there, they took 12 minutes to free Gabrielle from the submerged silver Vauxhall Estate car.

Scene at Boat Lane, Evesham
Police divers had to travel from Gloucester to rescue Gabby

West Mercia Police said its own officers could not carry out a rescue because of the risk that would have posed to them.

Ambulance crews worked to resuscitate Gabby on the riverbank before she was taken to hospital.

She attended Swan Lane First School in Evesham. On Friday head teacher Graham Walker said the school community had been "shocked and saddened" by the events.

Mr Grady, of no fixed address, appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Saturday.

He was remanded in custody and is set to appear at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday.

Witnesses have described how they saw the car driving fast through a field before hitting the water with "an almighty bang".

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