Tragic girl’s family in call for road changes

Four-year-old Ariana Bardhaj, from Blackpool, who died during a crash in Bolton

Four-year-old Ariana Bardhaj, from Blackpool, who died during a crash in Bolton

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THE family of a Fylde girl killed at a notorious junction today paid tribute to their “little princess”.

And they say they will campaign until changes are made to the road so her death will not have been in vain.

Ariana Bardhaj, four, from St Annes, died when her father turned into the path of an oncoming car on the A6 at Blackrod, near Bolton.

Ferdinand Bardhaj, who was learning to drive at the time, did not see signs flagging up the “no right turn” and his sat nav system wrongly instructed him to turn right.

Following the crash in September last year, a police officer tried to resuscitate Ariana, who was a passenger in the back of the car, with Xhemil, her one-year-old brother, but she died three hours later in the Royal Bolton Hospital.

She was the sixth person to die on or close to the junction since 2005.

Following an inquest into Ariana’s death earlier this month, Bolton Council said it was looking at various options to improve the junction.

But Ariana’s family say they will fight until changes are made to save other lives.

Since the accident, they have campaigned for more and bigger “no right turn” signs to be placed near to the junction so people do not miss the warnings.

Ariana’s mother, Trish Bardhaj, who was teaching her husband to drive on the day, said: “It was too late for us, but we need to make sure it is not for anybody else.”

Mrs Bardhaj, 32 – who still wears beaded bracelets made by her “little princess” — paid tribute to her daughter.

The heartbroken mum said: “Ariana loved the musical Mamma Mia!, fairies, SpongeBob SquarePants, performing ballet recitals, tap dancing and had everything in pink.

“She loved her brothers, Xhemil and Josh, to pieces.

“She mollycoddled Xhemil, she didn’t want to leave him and she was desperate for him to walk — and he did, three days after she died.

“I’m sure he did it with her help.

“She couldn’t wait, she was full of anticipation.”

Ariana’s grandfather, Bob Harrison, 69, a retired Army captain, blamed the junction for his granddaughter’s death, not the sat nav.

He said: “She was a lovely little girl, a loving little girl who seemed to bring happiness to everyone she met.

“I still cry every day.”

Her family plan to hold a celebration for their daughter on April 8 — which would have marked her fifth birthday.