Tributes paid to 'beautiful angel' Abbie Walton, 15, who drowned

Pictured: Tributes paid to ‘beautiful angel’ Abbie Walton, 15, who drowned in River Etherow after ‘getting into trouble’ after village ‘duck racing event’

  • Emergency services called around 7.50pm to reports of a girl in difficulty in river 

The 15-year-old girl who died after getting into difficulty in a river during a village fun day has been pictured.

Abbie Walton, 15, died on Wednesday after falling into the River Etherow after the area’s annual duck race and barbecue.

Officers said the teenager was found in the water after a search in Broadbottom, near Hyde, and a medical team of paramedics was unable to save her.

Police and firefighters launched a large search following reports a young girl had entered the water shortly before 8pm.

It was unclear if she had entered the water deliberately or fallen in. Sources said the drama unfolded some time after the supervised duck race had concluded.

Abbie Walton, 15, died after falling into the River Etherow after the area’s annual duck race and barbecue

Emergency services at the scene in Broadbottom, Greater Manchester, on Wednesday evening

Friends of the teenager paid emotional tributes to her online. 

One wrote: ‘Rest in paradise to the most kindest soul I know. I will forever cherish the time and memories we had you were always putting a smile on my face.

‘It was only two days ago I was with you I love you will all off my heart my angel.’

One resident told the Manchester Evening News: ‘It’s no more dangerous than any other river. When it’s flooding, it’s really dangerous.

‘Last night it wasn’t like that. It’s very strange. It shows that even when it’s calm it can be a problem.’

Another local described the heartbreak when 16-year-old Jack Pullen died in the water nearby in 2016.

They said: ‘There are signs up but it doesn’t seem to stop people coming down here. It’s more dangerous than they realise.’

Copley Academy, where Miss Walton went to school, said in a statement on Thursday that: ‘Copley Academy have been made aware of the tragic news that one of our students lost their life last night. 

Emergency workers battled to locate the youngster for several hours before departing at around 11pm (file image)

The tragedy happened in the village of Broadbottom, on the edge of the Peak District to the east of Hyde, Greater Manchester

‘We offer our deepest sympathy to all of those involved in this tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families, loved ones, friends and local communities affected at this extremely sad time.’

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said they sent a water incident response unit and a technical response unit to the scene. 

Emergency workers battled to locate the youngster for several hours before departing at around 11pm.

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Boyce said: ‘Yesterday evening’s events are nothing short of devasting and my deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of the girl who lost her life in such awful circumstances.’

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police added: ‘A teenage girl has sadly died following a search in water near Hodge Lane, Broadbottom.

‘Enquiries are ongoing but detectives from Tameside CID are confident there aren’t any suspicious circumstances.

‘Officers are supporting the family at this incredibly difficult time.’ 

The Broadbottom Duck Race is an annual fundraiser that involves competitors purchasing plastic ducks and releasing them on the water to see which completes a course first. 

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