The family of a schoolgirl who was knocked down by an on-duty police officer was “torn apart” by her death, her sister – who witnessed the horrific incident – has said. Kelly Edgar was on her way to buy sweets in Everton, Liverpool when she was hit by a Ford Fiesta.
Now, nearly 30 years on, her older sibling Leanne said her parents were “destroyed” by a lack of closure over her death.
Kelly had been walking to the local corner shop at around 8.20pm on January 30, 1993, when she was hit by an unmarked police car at the junction of Shaw Street and College Street North, near the Rupert Lane Recreation Ground.
Leanne, who was 13-years-old at the time, 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.
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“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.”
The Our Lady of Fatima High School pupil was taken to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in a serious condition.
She died two days later, without regaining consciousness from the crash.
A jury inquest into Kelly’s death reportedly attributed it to misadventure, but PC Michael Cloherty, who was found to have been driving the car was later charged with reckless driving.
The 28-year-old was said to be taking the police to the Merseyside Police garage on Smithdown Lane – approximately a five minute drive from the incident – from his station on St Anne Street.
He appeared before magistrates in November that year, where the court heard he had been driving between 30-40mph when his car struck Kelly.
Following the hearing, the magistrate cleared PC Cloherty of the charges against him, reportedly after 15 minutes of deliberation.
Now aged 42, civil servant Leanne said the lack of closure surrounding her sister’s death had devastating consequences for Joey and Patsy, their parents.
Leanne told the local paper: “They never got over it. It destroyed my mum and dad afterwards. We didn’t have the family life we had before.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
She said that said that it had also left her younger brothers Joseph and Shaun with long-lasting effects.
A spokesperson 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.”