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Leonie Nice Dies After Being Hit By Rugby Ball

Leonie Nice Dies After Being Hit By Rugby Ball

Tributes have been paid to a “promising, delightful and kind” girl who died after being struck by a rugby ball during a school PE lesson in Basildon, Essex.

Leonie Nice, 12, was catching the ball during a lesson at Woodlands Comprehensive School in Takely End when she was hit in the chest and fell over, the head teacher has said.

Andy White added: “Leonie keeled over and appeared to go into a fit.”

It happened just before midday on Tuesday. Leonie was taken to Basildon Hospital by ambulance but died soon afterwards.

Gary Sanderson, spokesman for the ambulance service, said: “First and foremost our thoughts are firmly with the girl’s family at this tragic time.

“The ambulance crew arrived at the scene within one minute and found the girl in a critical condition. Following rapid treatment and stabilisation, she was taken to an awaiting medical team at Basildon Hospital where sadly she died shortly after.”

Paying tribute to the Year 7 pupil, Mr White said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

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

“The pupils and parents have been informed of this sad event and students who require support are being looked after by our own staff and specialist staff from Essex County Council’s support team.”

Tributes have also been left on micro-blogging website Twitter.

@ShannonHernaman said: “RIP Leonie-Jo Nice; a beautiful girl, resting with the angels – heaven only takes the best; we all love you; sleep tight angel.”