Teenager to be remembered on birthday

A TEENAGER killed in a road accident will be remembered by devastated loved ones on the day she would have turned 19.

THEY carry with them an unbearable pain that has failed to be diminished by the passing of the months.

Sophie Underwood's family and friends today remain heartbroken by the popular teenager's death in a crash on Foxhall Road - just minutes from her home - on November 13 last year.

So to remember the life of their beloved daughter and friend and to feel close to her once again, Sophie's loved ones will gather to remember the bright and bubbly teen on the day she would have turned 19.

The former Copleston High School student would have celebrated her birthday on Sunday. Now, instead of the party she should have been hosting, a special remembrance service will take place.

Hundreds of her friends will join with her family at the service, which will be held at the Gardens of Remembrance at Ipswich Cemetery in Tuddenham Road.

Today, Sophie's mother Jill Underwood paid tribute to her daughter and also thanked the teenager's friends, who have raised £1,300 in her memory.

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“Sophie would have been 19 on Sunday but sadly she is not here to share her day with her family and friends,” she said.

“Sophie was taken from us in such a tragic way.

“She was loved so much by so many that the loss that followed has been unbearable.

“Her friends have been brilliant and have raised money which has paid for a book of remembrance, a brick on the walk of remembrance and a vase block in the garden of remembrance.

“I would also like to thank Sue Carhart who organised the collection and took care of ordering all the memorials.”

Around 300 people attended Sophie's funeral last November, most wearing brightly-coloured clothing to celebrate their bubbly and outgoing pal.

Sophie, who worked at Costa Coffee in Ipswich, leaves her mother, Jill, father Alex, brother Ben and sister Jess.

In the days after her daughter's death, Mrs Underwood wrote a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who also lost a daughter, ten-day-old Jennifer, in 2001.

She said Mr Brown had replied soon after, offering his condolences.

Mrs Underwood said: “The Prime Minister sent me a lovely letter. He said he could see how much Sophie was loved and said what a waste of life it was.”

All are welcome to attend Sunday's service, which begins at noon.

Would you like to pay tribute to Sophie Underwood? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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