Toddler killed by Hermes delivery van outside grandmother’s home ‘didn’t stand a chance’

Young Milliee-Ann Rae McKellar died after being hit outside here grandmother’s home

A toddler was tragically killed when a Hermes delivery driver reserved on to her, an inquest heard. Milliee-Ann Rae McKellar, aged three, was struck by a Mercedes Sprinter van outside her grandmother’s home in Calne in Wiltshire.

The driver entered the cul-de-sac and parked up - with two wheels up on the pavement - to deliver parcels. He returned to his van and started reversing after checking his mirrors and rear camera.

In a blind spot, Milliee was struck by the vehicle and fell to the ground. Emergency services were called to the collision in Calne, Wilts.

Despite their best efforts, Milliee was pronounced dead by critical care doctor Patrick Morgan at 1.08pm on March 3, 2021.

An inquest into the youngster’s death was held by area coroner Ian Singleton at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court in Salisbury yesterday (May 22).

The inquest heard that in a statement to police, her mother Tanzin Wells said that Milliee was comfortable playing in the street and would often play with other children. She said Milliee had good knowledge of road safety and would stop and look when crossing a road.

Ms Wells, who was sitting in a nearby garden with neighbours when the incident happened, said she was keeping an eye on Milliee through the gaps in a picket fence. She told police that Milliee was standing on the pavement when she was hit.

Police on the scene of the tragedy in CalnePolice on the scene of the tragedy in Calne
Police on the scene of the tragedy in Calne

But PS Jonathan Brooks, an officer assigned to the forensic collision investigation unit, said that in his opinion she would have been standing in the carriageway at the time of impact.

Neighbour Steven Hargreaves, in a statement, said he had arrived home moments before the incident. As he parked up, Milliee - who was standing behind the unattended van - had said “hi” to him.

He went indoors and whilst standing at his kitchen window, which looks onto Campion Close, he witnessed the delivery driver running back to his van and quickly jumping into it, having approached it from the front.

Mr Hargreaves - who had an unobstructed view of the incident unfolding - recalled how Milliee attempted to move when the van started reversing, but said she “didn’t stand a chance”. He added: “She was hit by the van and both the front and rear wheels went over her.”

He rushed out to help and found Milliee with what he described as “obviously crush injuries”.

When asked why he discounted the evidence of Ms Wells and other family members who were sitting in a garden, who claimed Milliee was on the pavement rather than the road, PS Jonathan Brooks said he “applied consideration” but their views of Milliee would have been obstructed by a picket fence and six wheelie bins “which would have made difficult, in my opinion, to place her with any accuracy”.

A witness said Millie didn’t stand a chanceA witness said Millie didn’t stand a chance
A witness said Millie didn’t stand a chance

The officer confirmed that the investigation found that Milliee would have been in the driver’s blind spot - and would not have been seen on checking his mirrors and the van’s rearview camera. He said that Milliee would have limited road sense and would not be able to appreciate the dangers vehicles pose.

PS Brooks said that considering Milliee’s stature and weight of 16 kilos in comparison to the size and power of the van, as the driver dropped off the kerb, it is “unlikely he was able to appreciate what was occurring”.

He added: “It is my view that he wouldn’t have realised what was occurring until Milliee and the scooter [that she was holding] came into view.”

The inquest heard that Milliee sustained a significant base skull fracture with compounds on the left and right sides of her skull. There were areas of subarachnoid and subdural haemorrhage, brain swelling and multiple pelvic fractures.

Mr Singleton recorded Milliee’s cause of death as road traffic collision. He passed his condolences to her family and thanked them for attending.

Wiltshire Police previously confirmed that the driver involved won’t be prosecuted over the incident. In a statement last year, the force said: “An investigation into the circumstances of a collision in Calne in which a three-year-old girl sadly died has now concluded.

“A thorough investigation led by specialist officers has been conducted and a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who concluded that no further action will be taken against the driver of the van involved.

“The parents of the young girl have been informed and our thoughts remain with them at this time.”