9-year-old girl killed by falling rock in 'one-in-a-million' freak accident while playing at North Yorkshire beach

Harriet Forster was playing in a rock pool with her mother Seaton Garth on a beach in Staithes, when she was hit by a rock on her head.

                            9-year-old girl killed by falling rock in 'one-in-a-million' freak accident while playing at North Yorkshire beach
(Source:Getty Images)

A nine-year-old child tragically died after she was struck by a single falling stone in a 'one-in-a-million freak accident' at a seaside beach in North Yorkshire. Harriet Forster who has been described by her family as "the light of our lives", was walking through rock pools with her mother when she got hit on her head. 

The little girl who is originally from Oxford and was visiting Staithes, North Yorkshire with her family when she was hit at around 4.47 pm on August 8. As reported by the Mirror, the shocked and distraught mother cradled her injured child as onlookers rushed to get help. Just a few moments earlier, the pair had left the beach and climbed a set of steps which led onto rocks. Harriet was struck by the stone around 30ft away from the steps. 

Despite many valiant efforts by the emergency services, she was pronounced dead on the scene. Her family was unable to fathom what had happened and could not accept the tragedy. In a very emotional statement from the North Yorkshire Police, Harriet's family shared, "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," the statement continued. It is believed that the first to arrive on the scene of the accident was an off-duty paramedic. The Coastguard, the RNLI, an air ambulance, ambulance crews, firefighters and police had also responded to the incident. 

Norman Fowler who is the Staithes harbor master and local councilor 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". 

Fowler shares that there are plenty of warning signs in the area about rockfalls and further explained that the beach will reopen when the investigations come to a close.