Friday, 1.40pm: Stunned friends of 13-year-old Sophie Howard, who was killed by a falling tree branch in Yaxley on Thursday (30 June), were joined by concerned adults at the Middletons Road Recreation Ground in the hours after the tragedy.
After Sophie had been taken to hospital, dozens of youngsters stayed in the park during the afternoon.
They desperately used mobile phones to find out if anyone had an update on her condition.
Before learning she had died, a 12-year-old friend said: “Everyone is really upset about it, a lot of people have been crying.
“We come down here all the time and we have never seen a branch fall off a tree before.”
The large sports ground has a skate park and a large grassed area.
It is popular amongst youngsters, especially during the summer months, with yesterday busier than usual for a Thursday with a number of students off due to school closures across the county.
Around the circumference of the park are a variety of large trees, which have benches placed next to them to give people the chance to sit down and enjoy the scenery.
It was on one of those benches that the teenager was sitting at the time of yesterday’s tragedy.
A mother, who asked not to be named, was also in the park at the time of the incident.
The woman, whose 12-year-old son was friends with the ragic teenager, said: “I was waiting for my youngest to finish his day at pre-school, and I saw there was a lot of commotion and a branch on the floor.”
Her son said: “I wasn’t there when the branch actually fell, but I have spoken to other people who were.
“It was a really big branch.”
A 13-year-old boy, who also knew Sophie, said that he feels all the trees around the circumference of the park should be cut down.
He said: “It is just dangerous. People always sit on the benches but I don’t know if they will now this has happened, because they are all under these massive trees.”
A teenager came to the park on his bike after hearing about the incident. He said: “Everyone has been talking about it and it’s a really horrible thing to have happened.”
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