Father in tribute to teenager killed by train

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The Independent Online

The father of a 16-year-old girl who died after she was hit by a train while trying to retrieve her dog from the tracks described his daughter as his "heart and soul".

Natasha Elliott died when she was hit just outside Morley station, near Leeds, on Monday.

Today, her father Wayne Elliott was in tears as he told BBC Look North: "She was always laughing, always smiling. She always made all her friends laugh.

"When they were down she was always there - their rock to pick them up.

"Nobody ever had a bad word for her. She was just the happiest princess of my life. And she was my heart and soul and I lived solely for her."

Mr Elliott said his daughter had been preparing for her school prom and had got her dress and lined up hair and nail appointments.

He said: "Now she's going to be buried the day before the prom."

Natasha's grandmother Jenny Elliott said: "She'll always be our little treasure."

Police believe Natasha was trying to retrieve her dog when she was hit by the 5.52pm York to Blackpool North Northern Rail service at about 6.45pm on Monday. The dog survived the incident.

Insp Glen Alderson, of British Transport Police, said an investigation was under way involving police and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

Mr Alderson said the foot crossing at the scene was in correct working order.

Local people questioned whether the crossing is safe and whether a bridge should be built instead.

Natasha was a pupil at Morley High School.

Yesterday, headteacher John Townsley said: "Natasha was looking forward to going to sixth form and had a fantastic life in front of her."