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Family tells of grief after road tragedy

PUBLISHED: 20:00 30 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

GRIEVING parents today spoke of their enormous loss after their beautiful and vibrant teenage daughter was tragically killed in an horrific car crash in South Africa.

GRIEVING parents today spoke of their enormous loss after their beautiful and vibrant teenage daughter was tragically killed in an horrific car crash in South Africa.

Jonathan and Cheryle Taylor were awoken in the early hours of the morning to be told the tragic news that 19-year-old Amy had died, along with her best friend and friend's sister.

Hardworking and talented Amy, whose family live in Felix Road, Felixstowe, had been on a gap year and had been looking forward to starting at Bath University later this year to study teaching dance and choreography.

Amy, who had a zest for life and many friends, had travelled out to South Africa to see the country and spend time with her friend Antoinette and her family.

But as they travelled home from an evening out at the cinema, they were involved in a road accident near Johannesburg.

After coming over a bridge they found the unlit road blocked by a lorry which had shed its load of steel.

They swerved to avoid it and it is understood they were in collision with oncoming traffic and were also hit by vehicles from behind.

Amy, Antoinette and her sister, were all killed. Monday had also been Antoinette's older brother's 21st birthday

Mrs Taylor said: "It's just so surreal. We had a 15 second telephone call at 4.15am to say your daughter's dead.

"There was no-one we could ring all day because it was Bank Holiday in South Africa. She's not here any more and there's nothing we can do.

"We have cards of sympathy but we just cannot take it in. It just doesn't seem as if it has happened."

The couple, who have sons Simon, 24, James, 15, Joshua, 11, and a daughter Kylie, 16, are liasing with the High Commissioner's office, who have told them a criminal investigation is under way.

Mrs Taylor said Amy was really enjoying her gap year but also looking forward to university and an exciting future.

"She was so vibrant and talented and she worked so hard. Lots of people knew her and everyone loved her. Dancing was her passion in her life and she had danced since she was two," she said.

"She wanted to widen her horizons and get herself prepared for university. She loved all the things she was able to do during the gap year. She had a lovely vivacious personality and got on so well with people."

Amy, who went to Colneis Junior in Felixstowe and then St Albans Roman Catholic High School in Ipswich, went to Suffolk College to do a diploma in dance and performing arts before taking her gap year in London. She was a member of Stagecoach dance school in Ipswich.

She worked at Buckingham Palace and for the Pensions Ombudsman, travelled to Australia, and studied at the Pineapple Dance Studio in Covent Garden.

Dennis McGarry, head teacher of St Alban's, said: "Amy was a cheerful and outgoing student with a love for life.

"Her presence in the classroom was always welcome. She had a particular love of drama and dance of all kinds and gave her best in all areas of the curriculum.

"She leaves a very positive mark on all who taught her or knew her and her death is a tragedy not only for her friends and family but also for those who will never have the chance to meet her."


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