Parents pay tribute to 10-year-old crash victim

THE parents of a 10-year-old girl who died last week in a collision at a pedestrian crossing have paid tribute to their daughter, who they described as “an angel”.

Yesmine Moumen, of Stevenage, was in collision with a white Mercedes at the town’s Monkswood Way pedestrian crossing last Tuesday and died after being taken to Lister Hospital.

The parents of Yesmine, who attended Broom Barns and Bedwell Primary School, have released a statement about their loss.

Mum Yvonne, 40, and dad Toufik, 43, said: “Yesmine was an angel. We want to thank her for being our daughter; it was a privilege to have her. She was our world and our lives revolved around her. Everything we did was for her and losing her has left a huge hole in our lives which can never be filled.

“Yesmine loved life. She was always polite and courteous. She was very bright and top of her class. She was knowledgeable and wanted to learn. She was a very fast learner and was able absorb knowledge very quickly. She liked maths and was extremely creative. We were a close family, we are very open with each other and we had everything. She did so much in her short life and it is important for us to celebrate and give thanks for her life.

Yvonne added that Yesmine was not only her daughter, but also her best friend: “She would come to me with any problems she had and we would try to work them out together. I remember every day when I picked her up from school how beautiful and grown up she looked as she left the classroom and we used to share many laughs as we were walking home. Some days she would sing her favourite songs all the way home and I often told her to stop. However she had a lovely singing voice. Yesmine was very eloquent and had a fantastic sense of humour which at times she kept hidden until she was comfortable with a new person.”

A keen sportswoman, Yesmine took part in cross country at school, joined the football club and wanted to compete as a swimmer for her country.

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“Yesmine said she wanted to become a famous Olympic swimmer so she could buy us a big house. She was so kind hearted. She was so competitive and only the best was good enough for our daughter,” said Toufik and Yvonne.

Yesmine was a keen reader and enjoyed reading Jacqueline Wilson books - the day before the accident Yesmine and her mum went to the library in Stevenage and took out 12 books.

Her parents, who moved to Stevenage from Dagenham with Yesmine in October 2002, added: “She had read one book by Monday evening and had started her second one, which is called Best Friends, on Tuesday. She couldn’t put a book down and I remember her reading as she came up the stairs to get ready to go out on Tuesday.”

Yesmine’s favourite thing was her black and white cat called Sky which she has had since she was a seven week old kitten. Yesmine got Sky in 2008.

Toufik and Yvonne said: “She had to wait two weeks after seeing Sky for the first time and she would ask everyday if she could go and get her. She loved Sky.”

Yesmine’s parents also described her as having a quirky fashion sense: “She loved bright colours. She had a huge earring and accessories collection. She would take ages to get ready and loved painting her nails. One of her favourite fashion accessories was her brightly coloured scarf which she wore on the day of the fatal accident. Yesmine said recently that she was famous for her scarf. Her favourite band was Culture Club; her favourite song was Karma Chameleon. She strangely loved music of the 80s even though we never introduced her to it.”

Toufik and Yvonne continued: “We have so many people to thank for their support and kindness. Particularly the lady who telephoned Toufik about the accident and the lady and the gentleman who stopped to help and gave CPR to Yesmine. Also, thanks to the ambulance and hospital staff and the police. We know that Yesmine herself would have liked us to pass on her thanks as well.

“Our families, who live away, have been truly amazing. They are battling the odds to make it to us. We couldn’t get through this without them.”

Yvonne said: “My parents are elderly and are finding it hard to cope as Yesmine was their first grandchild for five years. My brother Marc, 33, who is an amazing individual, has been wonderful in supporting them at this difficult time and making sure they can come and see us. I entrusted him with breaking the dreadful news to my parents the morning after the accident because I knew he should be the first person to pass on the devastating news. He drove for two hours in icy conditions to my parents’ home, picked up medication to calm them down on the way and collected my father’s sister for support. We want to thank him so very much.”

The couple added: “We have some wonderful friends who have been helping us. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. We are grateful to our neighbours for their support particularly Dave, Sarah and their boys, Edward and Harry, with whom Yesmine grew up and also Anne, Julie and their families with whom we shared difficult times. Anne’s parents Ken and Dolly, who are sadly no longer with us, were the best neighbours anyone could have. Yesmine was very fond of them and was heartbroken when they passed away. We are also very grateful to Kahlil Rahman (who works with Toufik at North Herts Homes) for the arrangements that he has made. He helped arrange for Yesmine to be buried in Stevenage instead of Luton which is invaluable to us and gives us great comfort.”

As well as to those who left flowers and cards for Yesmine at the scene of the accident, Toufik and Yvonne’s last thank you was to Yesmine’s school teachers and friends.

They said: “We would also like to thank Yesmine’s teachers at Bedwell - head teacher Mrs Moore, her class teacher Mr Roberts and Ms Shaw. Yesmine had some wonderful times at both schools. She laughed so much during her time at Bedwell Primary School, she loved it there. She was only there since September 2010 but made some lovely friends. Everybody there made her feel very welcome and she fitted in perfectly.”

Yesmine’s parents, who have been visiting the scene of the accident regularly, collecting all the cards and gifts, concluded with this tribute to their daughter: “Yesmine was a joy to have and we are so proud of her. Having her was a privilege and a blessing and even though we lost her under such tragic circumstances and so early we still feel like we are the luckiest people in the world who had the gift of keeping her for 10 years and 10 months. We want to make her proud in everything we do until we meet again.”

*A 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been released on police bail.