Funeral held for quad bike death girl

HUNDREDS of mourners turned out to say emotional goodbyes to a much-loved schoolgirl who died in a tragic quad bike accident.

James Hore

HUNDREDS of mourners turned out to say emotional goodbyes to a much-loved schoolgirl who died in a tragic quad bike accident.

Lizzie Cooke died on Boxing Day after the quad bike she was riding was in a head-on collision with a Range Rover in the village of Blackmore, near Chelmsford.

The seven-year-old and her brother, Jack, 10, had been riding behind another Range Rover, being driven by their dad Gary, 46.

Yesterday , two white horses pulled a carriage containing Lizzie's small coffin down to St Laurence Church in Blackmore.

More than 500 people from the close-knit community followed the procession and Lizzie's dad bravely helped carry his daughter's coffin into the packed church.

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Lizzie's three ponies were also brought to the church and one pulled a small green cart filled with colourful wreaths, including a large heart-shaped one.

As they entered the church Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy was played.

During the emotional service Yesterday by Leona Lewis was also aired and the congregation sang All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Canon Ivy Crawford told the mourners Lizzie touched hundreds of people in her life.

She said: “A star has fallen, so to speak, from our lives, and although there are no signs in the heavens to prove it, we know that her death matters to God too.

“Many people, in expressing their sadness and shock at hearing the news of Lizzie's death have also added expressions of concern and compassion for her family and driver of the other vehicle.

“We come to this service holding memories that are treasured, of a very special and precious little girl who touched the lives of everyone who knew her.

“We have all received Lizzie through her warm smiles, seeing her eyes twinkle sunshine, her conversation made you listen, her achievements in horse riding, her many talents, her love of music and dance, her confidence in all she set out to do, together with her energy and enthusiasm for life, brought us so many joys. For Lizzie, whatever she set her mind to, she achieved.”

After the service, a burial was held in the churchyard and white doves were released into the sky over the church.