Hundreds celebrate life of crash victim

HUNDREDS of well-wishers were expected to gather at the funeral of ten-year-old crash victim Joanne Dockett today to bid a tearful farewell.

HUNDREDS of well-wishers were expected to gather at the funeral of ten-year-old crash victim Joanne Dockett today to bid a tearful farewell.

Her school friends from Whitton Primary School were due to join together at St Mary and St Botolph Church in Ipswich to give their popular classmate a good send-off by belting out the celebratory tunes she sang with them at the end of term.

Joanne died at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on August 8 - six days after she was involved in a collision with a car close to her house in Byron Road, Ipswich.

Ann Taylor, head teacher at the school, was due to do a reading, and prayers were due to be led by Angela Parobij, a governor at the school. Those who knew Joanne also spoke of their memories of her.

Reverend Andrew Dotchin, who led the service at the church in Whitton Church Lane, was due to say in his address: “She was a child who hungered for life; determined to celebrate every moment each day brought to her.

“She was a child who was a blessing to everyone and our lives are all the poorer for her passing.

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“Such a young life, filled with so much hope for the future and now she is gone.

“How do we respond to the gaping hole she leaves in our hearts and our lives? Yes, we will cry and weep for the next while - and so we should for a light has left our lives. But what about the time after that?

“We could turn our tears to despair and spiral downwards into a life filled with shadows. Or we could instead choose to lead the kind of life Joanne was living.”

A hearse carrying Joanne's small coffin was to lead a procession of family and friends from Byron Road to the church.

Hymns during the service will include Father I Place Into Your Hands, Jesus Loves Me, and One More Step. The song Sweet About Me by Gabriella Cilmi was also to be played.

The burial in the churchyard was expected to follow the service.

An inquest into Joanne's death has been opened and adjourned, pending further investigations.

To pay your tributes to Joanne Dockett write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk