Father begged his young daughter to open her eyes after she was knocked down while playing

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaAug 18, 2023, 8:59 PM
Father begged his young daughter to open her eyes after she was knocked down while playing

Katniss Selezneva was playing outside her house

The father of a seven-year-old girl killed by a hit-and-run while playing outside her home begged her to open her eyes as she lay dying in the street.

Katnis Selezneva, originally from Bulgaria, was named in a tribute posted online by her mother, Tsvetelina.

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving in Walsall on Thursday evening, West Midlands Police said.

Mrs Selezneva said: “God took her away too young and fragile. I don’t have strength and I don’t want to say goodbye to you, my star.

“How to let you go, my heart is bleeding, my soul is aching. Who will take care of you now up there my angel! I’m powerless, words are not enough, no consolation!”

Mrs Selezneva lives with husband Bojil Seleznev, a lorry driver, in a semi-detached property overlooking the road where their daughter was hit.


A resident who tried to give Katniss CPR said it would ‘live with her forever’

She continued: “Your dad was calling you – ‘open your eyes Katnis, dad is here, open them’ – but you closed them forever!”

She said her daughter told her every day: “I love you mum, you are the best mother.”

Mrs Selezneva was seen giving out pieces of cake near floral tributes on Turnstone Road which she said was a Bulgarian tradition.

The close-knit community had left a large number of flowers and cards as well as a silver balloon marking the child’s age.

Local residents said they had repeatedly warned the council of “reckless teenagers” joyriding motorbikes on the street where Katnis was killed.

Speaking to the Telegraph one resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “[Joyriding] is a massive issue, they’re forever chasing round here.

“I mean bearing in mind this is the first week of the kids’ school holidays, they shouldn’t be driving around like that.

“Animals, reckless animals. They don’t care – we all know kids around here.”


Local residents said they had warned the council about kids riding bikes dangerously in the area

Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby said his officers had been working to tackle the issue of illegal and antisocial riding.

He said: “I want to send a clear message to the public that young people in the area are able to ride these bikes because, in many cases, adults are giving them the bikes to ride.

“They also bear responsibility for the potential consequences and this needs to stop. It causes distress to the communities blighted by it and it is incredibly dangerous.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the girl received life support at the scene before she was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

One woman, who said she had given CPR to the child before paramedics arrived, said that “having to give such a small child CPR would live with her forever”.

Another said: “I can’t get her precious little face out of my head.”

Det Sgt Paul Hughes said: “We still have to recover the motorbike involved and I know someone out there in the local community knows where the bike is.

“I now need that community to come together and work with me. This is not about protecting people, this is about doing the right thing.”

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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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