A devoted mother was killed by a van in a freak accident yards from her home.
Simran Ahmed is thought to have been shielding her children when she was hit by the runaway Ford Transit Connect last Friday afternoon.
Kiran, 10, was seriously injured and seven-year-old Mariyam suffered minor injuries.
Their eight-year-old sister Mariyah, who was walking ahead, escaped unharmed.
Willans Road minimart owner Kofi Kwarteng said Mrs Ahmed was one of his best friends.
“The woman was the most excellent mother you could ever think about,” he said.
“In looking after her children, you couldn’t fault her. She was always there for them 100 per cent.
“Why has this happened to her? I just don’t know.”
Floral tributes mark the spot near the Chipbox fish and chip shop in Willans Road where 46-year-old Mrs Ahmed was knocked down.
One read: “Thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Such a sad and tragic loss of a wonderful wife and mother.”
It is believed the unoccupied van was parked in Swindon Road when the handbrake failed. The van then started rolling backwards, ploughing into the family as they walked home from Eastborough Junior and Infant School, at around 3.30pm
Mrs Ahmed – known to some as Shabana – was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.
Builder Fraser Brougham was working on the house next door to Mrs Ahmed’s home in Willans Road with a colleague.
“We heard a scream and then a bang,” he said. “We ran down the road and the van was on the pavement with them behind it. We pulled the van off the two girls and I put them into the recovery position.
“It’s possible she may have been trying to shield them.”
Eastborough headteacher Sheldon Parkin said: “It’s very sad and particularly tragic for the three children who attend our school.”
He said he had visited the girls at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield on Saturday, but understood they had now been discharged and were staying with family in Preston.
Witnesses should phone the Major Collision and Enquiry Team via 101.