Hadleigh: Three-year-old Rosa Simon will be “devastatingly missed”

Rosa Simon

Rosa Simon - Credit: Archant

A happy, fun loving, inquisitive little girl who died after she was hit by a car will be “devastatingly missed” by her family, her father has said.

Three-year-old Rosa Simon, of Canterbury Gardens, Hadleigh was playing on a scooter in the quiet cul-de-sac close to her home on Tuesday evening when the accident happened.Emergency services and Rosa’s mother Sheeba, who is a nurse, tried to resuscitate her but she died shortly after at Ipswich Hospital.Yesterday, much of the close-knit Hadleigh community was in shock at the devastating news.Rosa’s father Paul said family and friends had been left “terribly bewildered and deeply saddened” by her death.“Rosa had pizzazz, a certain confidence, inquisitiveness, determination and a great sense of humour,” Mr Simon said. “But above all, she exhibited an enormous amount of compassion, empathy and love which is very rare in a small child.“If anyone was upset, she would just come and give them a big cuddle around the head or a big kiss.“We always focus on how adults influence their child’s character in different ways but Rosa influenced us.” Mr Simon said he and his wife had taken comfort from the fact that on the day she died, Rosa had enjoyed a “happy time doing the things she loved”.He added: “Although we are devastated and disoriented in these initial stages of grief, Rosa was playing with friends in a safe cul-de-sac on her scooter and was happy.“She went with her mummy to drop off her brother and sister at school and then she went to play group which she loved.“When I saw her at lunchtime, she showed me some of the work she had completed that day, and in the afternoon she spent time at the play area over at the leisure centre doing all the things she loved.“Rosa was a child who seemed to relish everything and everybody, and that is why she will be so devastatingly missed.”Rosa, who attended Hadleigh Community Playgroup, was shortly due to join her six-year-old brother and 10-year-old sister at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School.The school’s headteacher, Andrew Frolish, said: “This is such terribly sad news and our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the family.“We were looking forward to welcoming Rosa to our nursery and we are providing support for our school community.”County and district councillor Brian Riley said: “Hadleigh is a small town with a close-knit community.“It would be fair to say that the whole community is quite devastated that this should have happened. “Our hearts go out to Paul and his family. I would expect the funeral service to be overflowing.” Canon David Atkins of St Mary’s Church said the response in the town had been overwhelming. He added: “We are all completely shell-shocked. We are holding an impromptu service at the United Reformed Church this evening at 6pm to give people the opportunity to reflect on what has happened.”

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