A community is reeling following the death of an eight-year-old girl after a Land Rover crashed into an end-of-term tea party at a prep school while another young girl fights for life.

Selena Lau died after the vehicle crashed through the fence and into a building at The Study Prep school in Wimbledon, south-west London on Thursday morning.

Her family said she was “adored and loved by everyone” while community members called her their “shining star.”

Paying tribute, her family also described her as an “intelligent” and “cheeky” girl.

Issuing a picture of her beaming in her school uniform, they said in a brief statement through the Metropolitan Police: “Selena was an intelligent and cheeky girl adored and loved by everyone.

“The family wishes their privacy to be respected at this sad time.”

Another eight-year-old girl was in a “life-threatening” condition in hospital on Friday night while a woman in her 40s remains in a critical condition.

The driver, a 46-year-old woman from Wimbledon, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries to a date later this month.

She was taken to hospital and her condition was assessed as not life-threatening.

Cards and flowers with moving tributes to the youngster were laid at the scene throughout Friday by well-wishers who consoled each other as they left them.

A woman wearing a blue sling around her arm visited the scene and left flowers in a box and a card.

She paused to look at the flowers and was consoled by a man she was with.

She left a note saying: “Dear Selena, you will always be our shining star. We will miss you so much.”

The note included a picture of a star and had kisses on it.

Another tribute left at the scene said: “To the Study and parents. So sorry for this tragic loss to the school and the family. Forever in our thoughts.”

Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis club, also laid flowers at the scene.

He told reporters: “We feel closely associated with the community. What a tragic incident – we just offer our heartfelt sympathies to all affected.”

Members of the Wimbledon Common Golf Club, which is opposite the school, held a minute’s silence outside the school gates on Friday afternoon.

Speaking afterwards, Peter Thompson, chairman of the golf club, said: “We’re close neighbours, we’ve got close links with The Study.

“When they were doing their refurbishments they used one of our offices. It’s shocked the whole membership.

“It’s just so sad to lose someone so young.”

Several other people – including a seven-month-old girl – were also taken to hospital and their conditions have been assessed as not life-threatening, the Met said.

The injured adults were parents or carers and not staff at the school, they added.

A local teacher, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency many of them have broken bones including a broken pelvis.

They said: “A friend of mine has friends who have children who go to the school.

“She said they have all kinds of broken bones including a broken pelvis.

“I’m a teacher and I’m a mother and it could have happened to us. It could have happened to anybody.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, local policing commander for south-west London, fought back tears as she addressed reporters at a press conference at the scene on Thursday.

She said on Friday: “It is difficult to imagine the pain and upset the families of those involved are going through and we will do all we can to support them as our investigation continues.

“I know the impact of this tragic incident is also being felt in the wider community and we are working with our partners to ensure the appropriate support is in place.

“I understand many people will want answers about how this happened and there is a team of detectives working to establish the circumstances.”

London Ambulance Service said it sent 15 ambulances to the incident and treated 16 patients at the scene. Twelve were taken to hospital.

The school said in a statement that it was “profoundly shocked” by what happened.

A statement on its website added: “Our thoughts are with the bereaved family and with the families of those injured at this terrible time.

“It is still far too soon to fully understand what happened, but we are well aware of the significant impact this dreadful event will have on our pupils and their families.

“Their welfare remains our top priority and we will be doing everything we can to support them, especially those who suffered injuries.”