Sarah's final journey

VIDEO A horse drawn carriage slowly made its way along Nacton Road today as family and friends of A14 crash victim Sarah Gaecke gathered to say goodbye to her.

A HORSE drawn carriage slowly made its way along Nacton Road today as family and friends of A14 crash victim Sarah Gaecke gathered to say goodbye to her.

Two white horses pulled the white carriage containing Sarah's coffin to Ipswich crematorium at around 10am this morning.

The 15-year-old died in a car crash on the A14 at Nacton near to the Orwell Crossing truck stop on December 21, three days after her birthday.

Today her loved ones watched her coffin pass her home on Nacton Road, the sound of the horses' hooves on the road clear and loud as they made their sombre journey.

Two black-clad riders sat at the front of the carriage guiding it along the roads. Behind the carriage traffic waited patiently as the horses slowly walked.

Passers by watched the majestic coffin which stood out in contrast to the usual traffic on the busy road.

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Mourners were asked to wear something pink as the 15-year-old was due to be laid to rest today

Sarah's mother, Vici Gaecke, invited all friends of the former Holywells High School pupil to the funeral.

The service for was due to take place at the west chapel of Ipswich crematorium at 11am.

It was organised to feature Sarah's favourite colour, pink, and two of her favourite songs - Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On and I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly.

Earlier this month Ms Gaecke said: “Those are songs that meant something to her and mean something to me.”

The funeral was to be followed by a small family gathering.

Sarah was born at RAF Lakenheath where her father, Chris, was based but lived much of her life in the US following his posting to California and later Arizona.

She lived there until about a year ago when she decided to return to Suffolk to live with her mother Vici, brother Jacob, 5, and sister Isabelle, 14 months.

Her father still lives in Arizona with Sarah's 13-year-old brother Aaron, who paid his own tribute by describing her as “the best big sister”.

Mr Gaecke, Aaron and other relatives in the US have travelled to Ipswich to attend the funeral and be with Sarah's family here.

Ms Gaecke today thanked all those who had sent message of support following Sarah's death.

A 19-year-old man, also from the Ipswich area, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the crash and was bailed until next month.

Do have a tribute to pay to Sarah? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or go to www.eveningstar.co.uk/sarah