herald

Friday 9 December 2016

'How can we cope?', says Dad of crash girl

Katie Murphy and pal Claire Lombard
Katie Murphy and pal Claire Lombard
Katie Murphy
The scene of the crash at Carrigeenlea, Tramore

The father of a young girl killed in a horror car crash has paid tribute to his "beautiful" daughter.

Katie Murphy (16) died in the accident which left three of her friends in hospital.

Katie's father Hilary posted a message on Facebook last night in tribute to her, saying: "Our beautiful daughter was taken from us last night in a car accident.

"We loved her so very much and I don't know how we can cope without her."

Meanwhile, on of Katie's schoolmates told the Herald that her pals were about to call for her and were yards away when the tragedy occurred.

Claire Lombard (17) said her best friend Katie was the sort of girl who could make anyone smile no matter how sad they were.

Katie, from the Castlewoods estate in Ballynamona, Co Waterford, was a rear-seat passenger in the car with three friends when it crashed into a wall as it turned into the Carrigeenlea Estate in Tramore at 8.20pm on Wednesday.

She was rushed to University Hospital in Waterford but died from the injuries she sustained.

A 17-year-old boy, the son of a well-known and respected family involved in the motor trade in Tramore, was driving the car and a male pal was in the passenger seat.

Katie and another female friend were travelling in the back of the car.

Hospital

The male passenger was later transferred to Cork University Hospital where it is suspected he has swelling on the brain and a punctured lung.

The female passenger is being treated for suspected bone fractures, including her legs and pelvis.

Claire, a pupil at St Angela's school in Waterford, described the sequence of events.

"Katie texted me to say they were on their way and that they'd see me in a few minutes. Then a bit later I was closing my bedroom window and I saw people running down the road, and my brother Conor ran out as well," she said.

"I went out to see what was happening, and as I got to the corner I could see the car. (The driver) wasn't that badly injured and he was able to get out and walked towards me in a daze.

"We went down to the car to help. (The driver and passenger) were in the front of the car, and Katie and (her friend) were in the back," she said.

Claire's brother Conor supported the male passenger's head in the vehicle until emergency services arrived, and local residents did all they could.

"Katie was always smiling and laughing. She made everyone happy no matter how sad they were," said Claire through tears.

Claire told a poignant story of how Katie had borrowed a biro from her in school on Wednesday so she could write a reminder on her hand as to what classroom she was supposed to start in yesterday morning.

"That message, Lab B, was still visible on her hand after the crash," said Claire.

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