A distraught family has spoken of its anger after flowers placed at the scene where their daughter and grandson tragically died were stolen on Valentine’s Day.
The family believe the personalised bouquet was stolen by someone who then passed them to a partner as a Valentine’s gift.
Eighteen-month-old Jayden Bloomer and mum Jackie died three years ago when a car mounted a pavement on Water Street in Accrington town centre and ploughed into them.
Mrs Bloomer, 29, was walking to collect her other son from school when tragedy struck.
Jackie’s parents Carol and Leonard Hinett placed a large bouquet of flowers on the road on February 9 to mark the third anniversary of their deaths.
However they were left horrified after being told the flowers had gone missing five days later, on Valentine’s Day.
A bouquet ribbon with the names Jackie and Jayden written on it was later found dumped in the middle of Water Street.
Carol, who lives with Leonard on Hargreaves Road in Oswaldtwistle, said the thought of somebody stealing the flowers to use as a Valentine’s gift makes her feel “sick”.
She said: “It’s just so upsetting that somebody could actually do that. Whoever it was took the ribbon off with their names on and just threw it down in the road.
“They have got no respect for anything whatsoever. We had them made up especially and they were really nice flowers.
“Somebody has obviously seen them nicely wrapped and probably given it to their girl friend for Valentine’s Day.”
Carol, who works at Wilkinsons in Accrington, added: “When I was told I just felt sick and all upset again. They don’t realise what they are doing and what they are putting us through. It’s hard enough as it is.
“I didn’t even go up there on the Saturday to put the flowers there because I couldn’t face it.”
The ‘spring mix’ bouquet included roses, daffodils and carnations and was wrapped in cellophane to protect it from the bad weather.
Her husband Leonard said everyone was ‘absolutely mad’ when they were told about the theft. He said: “It must have happened on or just before Valentine’s Day.
“Our son-in-law noticed that they were gone. He was walking down into town and found the ribbon thrown on the street. He was absolutely mad and so were we. It just makes me feel sick what’s happened.
“Whoever has done this has probably done it because they can’t afford flowers for Valentine's Day and they’ve taken them. It’s absolutely shocking.”
Nursery nurse Mrs Bloomer, of Lime Road, fought for life for three days before she died in hospital.
Young Jayden died hours after the crash. The driver of the Rover 400 saloon, 89-year-old Ernest Wray, had suffered a heart attack at the wheel before the car mounted the pavement. He also died in the tragedy. Accidental death verdicts were recorded for Jayden and Mrs Bloomer.