The accident took place when Tracy Kennedy and her younger sister, Sonia, were crossing the road hand-in-hand near their home at Farnworth, Bolton, on the way to play with friends. They emerged from behind a parked car on Central Avenue before the impact with the vehicle - thought to be a white Ford Fiesta car or small van. A police spokesman said that it was a J- registration vehicle and appeared to have blacked-out windows.
Valerie Kennedy, the mother, told ITN: 'Tracy must have loved Sonia so much that she pushed her out of the way . . . she took the full force of the car on her head.'
Tracy was carried more than 50 yards on the car bonnet and died from massive head and internal injuries. Sonia, who suffered a broken leg, was described last night as 'satisfactory and comfortable' in Bolton Royal Infirmary.
Last night, a neighbour, Joan Boardman, said: 'The girls were always so careful crossing that road . . . Tracy was dragged right along the road, then left to die.'
Police said that the vehicle would have damage to the headlights and bonnet, and disclosed that, before the incident, the vehicle's horn was sounded as if to attract occupants of a house in the road.