Essex

Girl, 12, dies after being hit by ball at Essex school

A 12-year-old girl has died after being hit by a rugby ball during a PE lesson at a school in Essex.

Leonie Nice was at Woodlands Comprehensive School, Takely End, in Basildon, when the incident happened at about 12:30 GMT.

Essex Police said the "girl was taken ill after being hit by a ball".

Police said despite the efforts of school staff, paramedics and hospital staff, the girl died a short time later at Basildon Hospital.

'Greatly missed'

Andy White, head teacher at the school, said: "Leonie Nice, a year seven pupil, was catching a rugby ball in a PE lesson when she was hit in the chest by the ball.

"Leonie keeled over and appeared to go into a fit. Our trained first-aiders gave CPR at the scene and the ambulance arrived quickly.

"Leonie was taken by ambulance to Basildon Hospital where despite everyone's best efforts, Leonie was pronounced dead."

Mr White said pupils and parents had been informed of her death.

Students who require support are being looked after by school staff and specialist staff from Essex County Council's Support Team, he added.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time," he said.

"Leonie was a promising, delightful and kind girl who will be greatly missed by all the staff and pupils of Woodlands School."

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