A nine-year-old girl died after she was struck by a single stone in a 'one-in-a-million freak accident' at a seaside beach.
Little Harriet Forster, who has been described by her family as 'the light of our lives', was walking through rock pools with her mum when she was hit on the head.
Credit: North Yorkshire Police/Family handout
The youngster, from Oxford, was visiting Staithes, North Yorkshire, with her family when she was hit at around 4.47pm on 8 August.
According to the Mirror, the distraught mum cradled her injured daughter, while onlookers ran for help.
Moments earlier the pair had left the beach and climbed a set of steps which led onto rocks. It's believed Harriet was struck by the stone 30ft away from the steps.
Despite heroic efforts by the emergency services, Harriet was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her family, who are from Oxford, said they could not comprehend the tragedy.
In an emotional statement released via North Yorkshire Police this morning, Harriet's family said: "We cannot comprehend the enormity of this tragedy. Harriet was the light of our lives.
"We ask that you give us time as a family to support each other through our indescribable pain. Thank you."
An off-duty paramedic is said to have been first to arrive at the scene following the rock fall tragedy.
The Coastguard, the RNLI, an air ambulance, ambulance crews, firefighters and police also responded to the incident.
Staithes harbour master and local councillor Norman Fowler, 71, also rushed to the family's aid after being alerted by a witness at around 4.30pm.
Speaking yesterday, he said: "She was walking on the rocks with her mum and a stone hit her on the head. It was a freak accident. It was a one-in-a-million chance.
"I saw the lady cradling her in her arms. I sat with the mum. She was incoherent, crying. She was shaking and in shock. The cliffs just crumble occasionally.
"It wasn't a landslide. It was just one piece of stone. It only has to be the size of a fist when it's falling from that high on the cliff."
Mr Fowler said that there are enough warning signs in the area about the dangers of rockfalls and explained that the beach will reopen when investigations come to a close.
The force is currently compiling a report about the circumstances of Harriet's death.
Featured Image Credit: North Yorkshire Police/PA