The uncle of an 11-year-old schoolgirl killed in a car crash only learned of the tragedy when he saw the news online.

George Somers is the brother of Lily-Rose Murphy’s mother Samantha Hyde, who was also seriously wounded in the collision just before Christmas and remains in hospital.

He made the "horrific" discovery on Tuesday while trying to get in contact with his sister.

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The 42-year-old, who moved to Plymouth in 2012 after his mother died, described how he was looking for his sister on the internet when he found the "horrific" news.

He spoke of his devastation that his niece's life had been cut short at such a young age.

Mr Somers said he remembered seeing the crash on the national news, but did not know it was his loved ones that were involved.

He said: "I remember thinking 'that is sad', but of course you would never think that it was someone you knew.

"Samantha is such a wonderful person. Without Lily she has nothing - Lily was her world.

"We were always close. So far, the news has been getting worse and worse. I am glad my mum isn’t here. She adored Lily. I am upset; Lily didn’t even get to have a life.

"Me and Sam were always together as kids - this is a massive loss. I have not slept since finding out the tragic news. Lily was a beautiful little angel. She was a shy little thing."

This week the Metropolitan Police renewed its appeal for witnesses to the crash, which happened while Lily-Rose, who attended The Bushey Academy in London Road, and Ms Hyde, were waiting for a bus in Stanmore.

The pair were hit by a Ford Fiesta in The Common, Stanmore, between the junctions with Warren Lane and Wood Lane, at 12.21pm on December 18.

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Police believe the car was travelling north when it moved into the right hand lane and collided with the mother and daughter and a stationary 142 Watford Junction to Brent Cross bus.

The location of the crash

Lily-Rose was pronounced dead at the scene, and her mother has been in hospital ever since.

Mr Somers said that Ms Hyde has been informed of her daughter’s death but cannot talk at the moment.

He said: "We have not just lost one life, we have lost two. I have been told Sam will most likely never come out of hospital.

"She will never be able to live by herself. She had an operation on her pelvis, and is not expected to walk again. She also had her shoulder reconstructed and part of her skull cut away.

"Her memory is jumbled; she knows about Lily but still thinks our mother is alive.

"She is given a paper with A to Z on it and taps the letter she wants to use. The nurses at the hospital are also teaching her to spell."

Officers from the Road Death Investigation Unit at Northolt Traffic Garage are still investigating the collision.

Detective Sergeant Chris Osborne, of the Road Death Investigation Unit at Northolt, said: "We are appealing for any witnesses to this tragic incident to contact us. We are aware that there were a number of passengers on the bus involved, and a number of other vehicles in the vicinity. If you have any information we would like to hear from you so we can work out exactly what happened."

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Flowers left at the scene

Anyone with information should contact the Witness Line on 020 8842 1817.

Lily Rose’s funeral will be held next week. A tribute page has been set up here.