THE family of a toddler knocked down by a hit-and-run driver say they feared she was dead as she lay in the road.
Little Safa Ally was hit by a red Vauxhall Astra on Sunday afternoon after she opened her front gate and ran into the road while playing in the garden outside her home in St Helens Road, Daubhill.
Her grandfather — who was fixing a car seat at the time — saw the accident and took the 18-month-old toddler inside and called an ambulance.
After a night in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Safa is now back at home with just cuts and bruises — and the family say they forgive the car driver despite their ordeal.
Aunt Sabiha Ally said: “When a kid runs out between two cars accidents can happen.”
But she said the family feared the worst after the accident, which happened at about 12.30pm.
She said: “When my dad picked her up off the road, she was unconscious and he was distraught.
“He kept saying ‘She’s gone, she’s gone’ but, after a few minutes, she was crying and started moving her arms and legs, so we knew she was okay. Then we called an ambulance.”
St Helens Road was closed off to traffic for several hours as police combed the road for clues of the car, which stopped for a few seconds before driving off.
The driver, thought to be an elderly man, has still not been traced, but a police spokesman said they had found the car.
Sabiha said the family did not want any action to be taken against the driver if he is found.
She added: “We’re all drivers, so we empathise with the driver.
“Thankfully, he did brake when he did and he wasn’t speeding, and because it was a Sunday it wasn’t that busy.
“We understand that the driver panicked. We don’t blame him. We’re not interested in following it up, but the police obviously need to catch up with the driver.
“We’re just thankful she’s not more hurt.”
Safa’s father, Javid Ally, said he had been “heartbroken” to hear what had happened but that the family was now starting to get back to normal.
He added: “It takes a while for us all to recover from the shock of something like this, but we are okay now and, most importantly, Safa is okay. Her injuries are mainly just cuts and scratches.
“I wasn’t at home at the time, but when my sister phoned me to tell me what had happened I didn’t believe it. I was distraught and heartbroken.
“Of course, I am very relieved and I think we just want to forget what happened now and move on and make sure that Safa is okay.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.