A dad accidentally knocked down and killed his toddler daughter after being distracted by the family DOG running out into the road.
Little 16-month-old Angel Pitts was tragically hit by her father Scott who failed to see her wander in front of the car as he called his partner to fetch the family Jack Russell.
The youngster – who had only just learned to walk – was standing in front of the family’s Toyota Avensis when she was hit and was found under the bumper by her devastated dad.
An inquest heard how Mr Pitts, 36, initially thought he had run over one of his child’s toys left in the road outside the family home in Leeds, West Yorks., last June.
Sergeant Carl Quinn said: “Scott got into his vehicle to go and collect a DVD for the family to watch later that evening.
“Angel was in the house watching TV. He went forward when the dog followed him out of the gate. He called to Megin to fetch it inside. Angel had apparently left the house unseen by anyone.
“She walked into the road to the near side of the vehicle within the path of the turning car – she was struck by the near side front wheel resulting in a knock to the ground and injuries to her head.
“Scott realised he had impacted with something which he thought was one of the children’s toys. As he looked he found Angel underneath the car by the front wheels.”
Neighbour Craig Holmes said he heard a man screaming for help from across the road and looked out to see Scott carrying a little girl as his partner Megin Darch rushed out and wailed.
Mum-of-two Miss Darch told police in interview: “Scott shouted at me to pick up the dog as he didn’t want to run it over so I went out to pick it up. It always runs in the road.
“Shortly after I heard a scream. He was screaming ‘help me, help me’.”
In a statement read to the Leeds court, Miss Darch said: “Angel was tragically killed in a terrible accident. She was very happy at home, she would bounce up and down on her trampoline.
“Angel was very clingy with me. She was a very good girl, good-natured and ate well. She was no trouble at all and got on well with all the family and her brother.
“Scott has been very affected – he says he is okay but I don’t think that he is. I’ve told him it’s not his fault it was an accident. He thinks I hate him but I don’t.
“I’m devastated about what happened but I carry on for my son’s sake.
“I cannot really describe how I have felt since the accident. We miss Angel so much and we will never forget her.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Assistant Coroner Jonathan Leach said he was satisfied Scott Pitts hadn’t been able to see the youngster in front of the car.
The family paid tribute to the infant by dressing in onesies at a Disney-themed funeral following the horrific accident, to which flocks of well wishers from the shocked community turned up.
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