Emotional farewell at horse-drawn carriage led funeral of cousins who were mowed down and killed by a hit-and-run driver

GRIEVING family and friends have turned out for the funeral of two "soulmates" who died in a hit-and-run on New Year's Eve.

Cousins Zaneta Krokova, 11, and Helina Kotlarova, 12, were holding hands when they were knocked down in Ashton Road, Oldham, at roughly 7.15pm.

Their funerals were held at St Paul's Church, also in Ashton Road, today.

The cortege included carriages pulled by white horses with pink feather headdresses.

The girls' white coffins were carried into the church ahead of the service.

Roads in the town were closed for the procession afterwards which was due to go from the church to Oldham Crematorium

The two girls had just come out of a shop near their homes when they were killed.

Helina was pronounced dead at the scene and Zaneta died in hospital on January 2.

Helina's mother, Sylva, and father, Robert, raced to the scene but she was declared dead by medics as her distraught mother stroked her hair.

On New Year's Day the family of seven sisters and one brother, who came to England from the Czech Republic eight years ago, sat in tears, mourning the 12-year-old.

Helina's sister, also called Sylva, said: "We ran there. I went to her. Her face was all bloody. She did not breathe. Then the ambulance came."

Four men have been charged over the hit and run killing after a trashed dark blue Peugeot 807 with a missing back window was found abandoned after the crash.

The men were questioned by police with one since charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

The other three were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The suspects were arrested on January 1.

A 23-year-old was also arrested but was released without charge.

The charges come after police investigations led to the discovery of the filthy people carrier that smashed into the girls.

The car was found with black plastic sheeting in place of its boot window on Honeywell Lane in Oldham.



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Gabor Hegedu, 38, of Oldham has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, driving without a licence, failing to stop after a collision and failing to report the collision.

David Orsos, 18, Janos Kalanyos, 50, and Zoltan Peto, 51, also of Oldham, have been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

They were remanded in custody and are due to appear at Tameside Magistrates' Court this afternoon.

Sergeant Lee Westhead from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “This is a heart-breaking incident which has now taken the lives of two young girls and all of our thoughts remain with their families, who are understandably devastated."

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741, quoting incident number 1691, of 31 December 2016.

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