Schoolgirl killed instantly when falling tree crashed down on her head

Schoolgirl, eight, was killed instantly when falling tree crashed down onto her head in 40mph winds while she was on a family dog walk, inquest hears

  • Maisy Mayne died from head trauma and sister Isla had to be airlifted to hospital 
  • But Maisy was pronounced dead by the footpath in Bobbing, Kent, on August 21
  • Isla was ‘bleeding profusely’ from her head with bruising on her back and pelvis 
  • Coroner James Dillon recorded a conclusion of accident in Maidstone, Kent

Maisy Mayne, 8, (pictured) died from severe head trauma after high winds caused a large branch to fall on her head

An eight-year-old girl was killed instantly by a tree after 40mph gusts caused it to collapse while she was on a family walk during a devastating storm, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

Little Maisy Mayne died from severe head trauma after high winds caused a large branch to fall on her head on Friday August 21.

Her younger sister Isla, four, was also struck by a tree branch and was flown to hospital in an air ambulance for treatment to life threatening injuries.

The pair were out for a walk with their brother William, grandmother Elisabeth Bailey, her husband Perry Bailey and the family dog when tragedy struck.

The family left at 11.30am to meet Ms Bailey’s sister Maggie Rivett for a stroll in the woods by Little Norwood Farm in Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, Kent.

A statement from Mr Bailey told the inquest Ms Rivett was seen waving her arms and shouting after saying she would show the children the scene of a fallen tree.

When he ran over, he saw Maisy, who was wearing a light pink summer dress and blue Nike trainers, lying on the floor trapped by the huge branch.

Mr Bailey, who called an ambulance at 12.14pm, said: ‘I thought that she was dead’.

The branch was too heavy to move so he carried out CPR by kneeling behind her head until emergency services arrived but there was no response.

Paramedics arrived 20 minutes later but pronounced Maisy dead at the scene at 12.45pm.

Paediatrician Dr Richard Patey at Medway Maritime Hospital said Tunstall Primary School pupil Maisy suffered ‘instant death’ due to the tree falling in ‘high wind’.

Maisy Mayne was struck by a fallen tree along a footpath in a field in Bobbing, near Sittingbourne in Kent (pictured)

Police Constable Max Turner, of Kent Police, arrived at the tree-lined unharvested crop field with a defibrillator at 12.25pm as the first responder.

He said in a statement: ‘It was clear the child’s injuries were too severe and she was deceased.’

PC Turner recalled a firefighter saying: ‘She’s gone. We’re not going to be able to save her’, as he pulled out revival equipment.

Sister Isla had been squatting near the tree as it collapsed and a branch had struck her on the head and back.

PC Turner said she was ‘bleeding profusely’ from her head with bruising on her back and pelvis.

Maisy’s sibling Isla was left seriously injured when they were hit by the tree (pictured) that came down amid high winds just after 12pm on Friday August 21

She appeared to not be as responsive on her left side and was not responding verbally with recognisable words so was taken to Kings College Hospital, London by air ambulance for treatment to life threatening injuries. 

William, who was momentarily missing after running off in a ‘distressed state’, was luckily uninjured apart from a couple of scratches on his neck.

Detective Inspector Beverley Morrison, of Kent Police, said the Met Office recorded winds of between 28mph and 31mph with gusts of up to 40mph.

More than £26,000 has been raised in memory of Maisy (pictured) on a fundraising page to support charities involved in saving her sister Isla’s life

Kent County Council said the dirt path the family were walking along had not been a public footpath since 2014, meaning there was no provision for tree maintenance according to Ms Morrison.

She said it is unknown who actually owns the stretch of trees as it is a boundary between two separate patches of land.

Ms Morrison said: ‘There are no ongoing safety concerns identified. It appears a combination of warm weather and high winds can cause such damage to trees.’

Mum Nicole, a serving police officer, and dad Andrew Mayne attended the inquest with Maisy’s grandmother Susan Mayne in attendance via video link.

Maisy was declared dead at the scene and her sister Isla was airlifted to King’s College hospital (pictured) in London with serious injuries

Coroner James Dillon recorded a conclusion of accident in Maidstone, Kent on Tuesday.

He said: ‘Maisy sustained fatal injuries as a result of that falling branch which led to her death at the scene.

‘There were a number of branches that had fallen in the vicinity so I note that this branch was not isolated in this incident.

‘The fact of this inquest is that it is tragic. It’s an unforeseeable tragic circumstance that Maisy happened to be underneath the tree as the branch fell.

‘As another parent, I understand the tragedy of what has happened and wish to pass on my condolences to the family.’

The family did not want to comment after the hearing.

More than £26,000 has been raised in memory of Maisy on a fundraising page to support charities involved in saving sister Isla’s life. 

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