The sister of an 11-year-old girl who died after being hit by an unmarked police car has spoken how the tragic accident left her family broken and ‘torn apart’.
It’s almost 30 years since Kelly Marie Edgar was hit by a Ford Fiesta on the way to the corner shop to buy some sweets with her big sister, Leanne, on 30 January 1993.
Leanne, who was 13 at the time and witnessed the horrific accident, told the Liverpool Echo: “I was in front of Kelly, she was behind me, and as I got to the other side of the road I heard a bang.
“I turned around and saw Kelly flying through the air.
“At first I thought the car wasn’t going to stop, but then it did stop quite far down the road. When the driver got out, it was a policeman. I can’t remember much. I was hysterical, screaming, just hoping she would get up.”
Kelly, who was in year 7 at Our Lady of Fatima High School at the time of the tragic accident, was rushed to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in critical condition but died two days later, just a week before she was to turn 12.
She never regained consciousness to say goodbye to her family.
An investigation into Kelly’s death found that the police officer driving the unmarked car was 28-year-old PC Michael Cloherty.
He had been driving between 30 and 40 mph at the time of the accident and was taking the vehicle to the Merseyside Police garage from his base at St Anne Street.
The young police officer was charged with reckless driving but quickly cleared of the charges by magistrates court and a jury inquest recorded a verdict of misadventure.
Kelly’s sister Leanne, who is now 42 and a civil servant, said her death ‘destroyed’ the family and severely impacted every member, including her two younger brothers Joseph and Shaun.
She said her parents, Patsy and Joe, were unable to recover from losing their youngest daughter.
“They never got over it. It destroyed my mum and dad afterwards. We didn’t have the family life we had before,” she said.
“It ruined our lives. Their hearts were broken; they were never the same. It broke them and it destroyed us. We were wrapped in cotton wool afterwards, we couldn’t move because of it – they were scared of something happening to us. It just tore us apart.
“Kelly was loved by all. She was always bubbly, always happy. She was always the cheerful one who made everyone laugh. She was always dancing and singing. Her favourite music was Abba – Dancing Queen.
“She wanted to be everything: a dancer, a teacher, she changed her mind every week.”
Joseph, who was just seven at the time Kelly died, shared what he remembered of the devastating event: “I just remember all the family coming down to the hospital, and after she passed my mum and dad wouldn’t let us out. They were very protective.
“We moved from where we were because there were too many memories of Kelly, the roads. We went to Anfield and then to Kensington, and then moved back years later.”
A spokesman from Merseyside Police said: “We understand the traumatic impact this continues to have on the family of 11-year-old Kelly Edgar who tragically died following a collision involving an unmarked police car on 30 January 1993.
“In relation to the collision the incident was fully investigated and an inquest was later heard by a jury on 29 April, 1993.
“The conclusion was misadventure – death caused by a person accidentally while performing a legal act without negligence or intent to harm.
“The former police officer driving the vehicle was then cleared of any charges in November 1993.
“Our thoughts and condolences remain with Kelly Edgar’s family throughout their loss.”