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Family of girl killed when Land Rover hit school tea party make desperate plea for answers

Eight-year-old Selena Lau was killed when a Land Rover crashed into a building at Study Preparatory School in Wimbledon, south-west London on the last day of term (Metropolitan Police, PA) (PA Media)
Eight-year-old Selena Lau was killed when a Land Rover crashed into a building at Study Preparatory School in Wimbledon, south-west London on the last day of term (Metropolitan Police, PA) (PA Media)

The heartbroken family of an eight-year-old girl killed when a Land Rover ploughed into her school playground have said they have little confidence in the police as they await answers seven months on from the tragedy.

Selena Lau was filmed playing Scott Joplin’s ragtime classic The Entertainer on the piano at an end-of-term concert at The Study preparatory school in Wimbledon, just moments before the tragic incident last summer. Ending the piece to a round of applause, she and her grandmother Lai Lin Lau moved into the grounds for a tea party to celebrate the start of the summer holidays.

As she was standing by her friend Nuria Sajjad, also eight, a gold 4x4 crashed through the school gates and killed them both, while dozens of other children and parents were also injured.

The gold Land Rover crashed through the school gates and killed two pupils (PA)
The gold Land Rover crashed through the school gates and killed two pupils (PA)

Speaking to the Times, her parents Franky and Jessie Lau, both 45, have spoken of their desperation for answers as the investigation by the Metropolitan Police continues into its eighth month.

“It has been a long time,” Ms Lau said. “We want to try to understand what happened. We lost our daughter. We expected her to be with us all our lives. This happened to her and to us. It was the end of my world. It has been seven months and we are still waiting.”

A 46-year-old woman from Wimbledon was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has since been released under investigation.

In an emotional interview with Vanessa Feltz on TalkTV, Mr Lau said: “We still haven’t had any answers. There’s no update. We just don’t understand why it’s taking so long for an incident that everyone has seen.

“There’s only one suspect, one driver. It’s still ongoing, that’s all we know. It could be 10 years, 20 years, we don’t know. I like to think I have faith in the police, but at this point, we don’t have much confidence.

Selena’ friend Nuria Sajjad was also killed in the incident at The Study Prep school in Wimbledon (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)
Selena’ friend Nuria Sajjad was also killed in the incident at The Study Prep school in Wimbledon (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

“We just want answers, we want justice for our daughter. We’re very close to the other family, that’s how they feel as well,” he continued.

“It’s no closure, no information or confirmation about whatever happened to our girls. We are frustrated. They’re suffering every day, like us.”

Selena’s mother had been at her desk in the City, where she worked as a chartered accountant, when she received the call telling her to urgently make her way to the school.

Upon arriving, she and her husband were told that Selena had died, with Ms Lau making her way to St George’s Hospital in Tooting with her daughter’s body.

Her husband returned home with Selena’s 12-year-old sister Isabella, for them to collect her favourite teddy bears and toys.

Since the incident, their older daughter has withdrawn from activities that she used to enjoy with her younger sister and sobs at night.

A tribute note dedicated to Selena at the crash site (Getty Images)
A tribute note dedicated to Selena at the crash site (Getty Images)

“They were best buddies since the day Selena was born, doing piano, netball, dancing and singing classes together,” she said. “Now she’s withdrawn from all those activities. That’s not fun any more.

“She’s been sobbing at night because they used to listen to songs together before going to sleep and chat. She’s been crying on her own.”

“We just want to have understanding, justice for what happened. We owe this answer to ourselves and to the girls. Because you can’t have two innocent children lose their lives and all the questions not answered.

Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, who is in charge of policing southwest London, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families of Nuria and Selena who we know are greatly loved and missed.

“This was a tragic incident and we understand that the families want and need answers as to what happened. We are continuing to give them specialist support through our dedicated family liaison officers who are providing updates on the investigation where they can.

“We recognise that the time taken can cause further distress but it is only right and fair to all involved that we carry out a thorough and extensive investigation.”