Crash victim still makes dad smile

A TEENAGE crash victim's father today told how his memories of her bubbly personality continue to bring a smile to his face in the wake of an inquest into her death.

A TEENAGE crash victim's father today told how his memories of her bubbly personality continue to bring a smile to his face in the wake of an inquest into her death.

An inquest into Ipswich 18-year-old Sophie Underwood's death at Foxhall ruled that the former Copleston High School pupil died in a “tragic accident”.

Following the verdict by Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean, Alex Underwood said his daughter's “lively and sparky” nature had helped him to come to terms with her death.

Mr Underwood said: “She wanted to enjoy her life and that's what she did.

“If she'd have just sat at home and had no friends it may have been different. You can't replace her but she's somebody that still brings a smile to my face.”

Miss Underwood, who worked at Costa Coffee in WH Smith's town centre store in Ipswich, was a passenger in a black Renault Clio travelling along Foxhall Road at Foxhall on November 13 last year.

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The crash happened close to the waste and recycling centre and also involved two VW Golfs - one silver and one black.

The inquest was held yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court by Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean.

Mr Underwood today said he was satisfied by the verdict and felt for the drivers of the other vehicles involved.

Miss Underwood, who lived in Foxhall Road, was being driven to Tesco at Martlesham by a friend when the accident happened.

Dr Dean said there was no evidence that any of the drivers involved were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that they had been using mobile phones or that their vehicles had defects that could have caused the crash.

He said it appeared as if the Clio had clipped a verge as it rounded a left hand bend, which caused the car to move onto the other side of the road and collide with the silver Golf before rotating clockwise to collide with the black Golf.

Dr Dean said: “It was clearly a very tragic accident that caused the death of Sophie Underwood.

“Our thoughts are with her family and indeed all those people who were touched by the tragic events of that evening.”

A police investigation into the circumstances of the crash is continuing.

Dr Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death.

What are your memories of Sophie ? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk