A 12-YEAR-old girl has died after being hit in the chest by a rugby ball during a PE lesson at school.
Leonie Nice, who was in Year 7 at Woodlands Comprehensive School in Basildon, Essex, suffered a fit after she tried to catch the ball, it has been claimed.
It is understood she was hit in the chest and keeled over, before having a fit shortly before midday yesterday.
First aid staff at the school tried to revive her and called an ambulance, fast response car and police officers to the scene.
The schoolgirl was rushed to hospital but paramedics were unable to resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead on arrival at Basildon Hospital.
It is not yet known whether Leonie, who has been described by her teachers as a “promising, delightful girl”, suffered any pre-existing medical conditions.
Andy White, head teacher, said: "Leonie Nice, a year 7 pupil, was catching a rugby ball in a PE lesson when she was hit in the chest by the ball.
"Leonie keeled over and appeared to go into a fit. Our trained first-aiders gave CPR at the scene and the ambulance arrived quickly.
"Leonie was taken by ambulance to hospital where despite everyone's best efforts, Leonie was pronounced dead.
Gary Sanderson, spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service, said: " Following rapid treatment and stabilisation, she was taken to an awaiting medical team at Basildon Hospital, she sadly she died shortly afterwards."
Schoolfriends have already taken to Twitter to express their shock and pay tribute.
One pupil said: “RIP to our beautiful friend Leonie-Jo Nice.
“A stunning girl that was only young, hopes to her family, we all love you, our gorgeous angel”
Another wrote: “Cant get over the fact that Leonie is gone... I grew up with her and she was such a sweet girl, #RIPLeonie. Everyone is thinking of you”
Another message said: "RIP Leonie-Jo Nice; a beautiful girl, resting with the angels - heaven only takes the best; we all love you; sleep tight angel."