Funeral for girl crushed by tree

7th February 2003 at 00:00
THE funeral of an eight-year-old girl who was crushed to death by a falling tree in a school playground was due to take place today.

Rianna Davenport, a pupil at West Ashtead primary school in Surrey, was trapped beneath the tree as pupils lined up to return to class on Thursday, January 30. The school was closed on Friday while safety work was carried out. It reopened on Monday with a special assembly.

John Quigley, a Surrey education officer, was responsible for supporting staff and pupils in the wake of the tragedy. He said: "People really pulled together. The headteacher, Jane Douglass, spent the weekend with some of her staff planning the most beautiful assembly."

Educational psychologists for pupils and counsellors for staff have been working at the school this week. Cover was provided for office staff and Mr Quigley dealt with media queries. He said: "It is one of the firm wishes of most people now to return to normal."

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the cause of the accident.

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