Family tribute to 'beautiful' budding Lioness Leah Harrison killed in tragedy

Tributes have been left for 10 year old Leah Harrison <i>(Image: North Yorkshire Police)</i>
Tributes have been left for 10 year old Leah Harrison (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

The devastated family of a "bubbly" year six Darlington schoolgirl have paid tribute to her after she tragically died in a mudslide while on a school trip yesterday.

Leah Harrison, 10, a pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School was a "beautiful" young girl, say her family, who have penned an emotional tribute to her after her death.

The talked about how Leah, who loved football, dreamt of become a Lioness one day and remembered her 'giddy laugh and 'silly jokes.

It is understood that Leah, who was a year six pupil at the school, had recently completed her SATS exams and was on a trip when she was caught up in the mudslide near Carlton Bank near the village of Carlton in Cleveland just after 1pm yesterday (May 22).

Read more: Tragedy as Darlington girl 10 killed in mudslide

Dozens of rescuers rushed to the scene in a desperate bid to save Leah's life but North Yorkshire Police later confirmed she had died.

Her family has now written on social media: "God only takes the best, please let me tell you he's taken the best there ever was!

"I've been asked to put a message on to thank everyone who has messaged, called and said their condolences it has not gone unnoticed but as a family we are still taking in what has happened to our beautiful Leah.

"Please may we ask for people to give us this time to grieve and come to terms with this news. We all appreciate everything everyone is doing.

Live updates and tributes to 'beautiful Leah Harrison

"Leah Harrison, the happy bubbly go lucky little girl. The beautiful smile, the giddy laugh the silly jokes.

"You will never ever be forgotten baby girl You will achieve your dream and become a player for the lionesses spread those wings, may you rest in paradise."

The family are now planning to hold a balloon release for Leah next week to celebrate her life and have invited family and friends to join them.

Chief Executive of the Lingfield Education Trust, Nick Blackburn has now issued a statement on behalf of the school, paying tribute to Leah as the trust remains in a "state of shock".

He said: "The full details are still emerging but this is clearly a heartbreaking tragedy. Leah was a much-loved part of our school and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the school staff.

"Counselling is being arranged within the school for pupils and staff. We are all in a state of shock and we would ask that the privacy of the family and the school community is respected while we try to come to terms with what has happened."

*This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day*