GRIEVING mum Claire Hunt has paid tribute to her daughter Caitlin, who she says was loved by everyone and enjoyed nothing more than performing.
The nine-year-old was hit by a bus on Moredon Road, close to Blair Parade, shortly before 6pm on Tuesday.
Despite desperate attempts by paramedics and passers-by to save her, the Rodbourne Cheney Primary School pupil – lovingly known as Cake Tin by her family – was declared dead at the scene.
It is the second tragedy to befall the family in recent months after Caitlin’s eldest sister, Jamie, died from pneumonia aged just 22 last October.
Mum-of-nine Claire, 42, was yesterday being comforted by relatives as she paid tribute to the daughter who dreamed of becoming a professional singer.
She said: “Caitlin absolutely loved to sing. She loved having her photo taken and videoing herself. Caitlin wanted to be a star when she grew up.
“She said when she reached the age of 16 she wanted to go on Britain’s Got Talent and was also going to go on The X Factor.
“She was always singing. She seemed to start when she was just six months old and then didn’t stop. Her favourite band was One Direction, but she loved everything really.
“She was always asking to borrow my make-up, saying she wanted to look like me, but I just told her she didn’t need it as she was beautiful enough.”
Caitlin had three sisters and four brothers.
Her brother Aidan, 10, who also attends Rodbourne Cheney Primary School, was with her at the time of the accident, along with another friend.
“I’m just feeling empty at the moment,” said Claire. “She was loved by all of her brothers and sisters and absolutely adored her 13-month-old sister Georgia.
“Aidan is very quiet but he is coping and wants to go back to school.”
Claire, who is expecting her tenth child, was at home when a friend came knocking on her front door to tell the family what had happened. They rushed to the scene but by the time she got there Caitlin had died.
Claire said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone who tried to help on the day. Several people rushed over to try and save her and we are very grateful for that.
“The emergency services have been good and her school have been absolutely brilliant, saying we can have all the support we need.
“Throughout the day lots of friends and neighbours have come around to pay their respects, which has been really nice.”
Among the relatives at the family home was Caitlin’s father, Stephen Hunt, who had travelled up from his home in Cornwall on Tuesday night.
Her step-father, Steven Jones, 40, said: “Caitlin will be so missed by absolutely everyone. We miss her so much, more than words can say. Everyone is devastated right now.”
Floral tributes, cards and teddy bears are left at the scene of the accident
Meanwhile, staff at the primary school Caitlin attended just yards from where she died have paid tribute to the girl they described as a vibrant and passionate learner.
The school said yesterday: “It was with great regret and sadness that we heard of the tragic death of one of our pupils, Caitlin Hunt.
“Caitlin, a Year 4 pupil, was a vibrant and passionate learner at Rodbourne Cheney Primary School and her lack of presence in the future will be noticeable. She was a popular girl, loved by teachers, the pupils, but especially by her classmates.
“It is hard to imagine the terrible sense of loss and tragedy which is being felt by Caitlin’s family at this time and our deepest sympathies are with them.
“The loss will also be felt within the school by pupils, staff and parents and we are grateful for the pastoral support being offered by the local clergy, specialist bereavement counsellors and The Samaritans.
“All members of our community will be offered access to the support today and in the days to come.”
Since the accident, flowers and teddy bears have been left at the scene paying tribute to Caitlin, described by her family as a “beautiful angel”.
Tied to bollards nearby, a card attached to a bunch of flowers from her distraught family, said: “Caitlin our beautiful angel.
“Sleep tight baby girl. Lots of love hugs and kisses from Daddy and Becky, Mummy and Steve, Aidan and Georgia, Jamil and Malik.”
Another adds: “Thinking of you all at this sad time. Gone but never forgotten. RIP angel.