Parents' tribute to crash siblings

THE heartbroken parents of a brother and sister killed in an horrific road crash have paid tribute to their “good kids”.

Annie Davidson

THE heartbroken parents of a brother and sister killed in an horrific road crash have paid tribute to their “good kids”.

Oliver Read, celebrating his 24th birthday, and his sister Donna, 20, died when the Audi A3 Turbo she was driving smashed into a lamppost and a wall in West Bergholt, near Colchester.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on the B1508 Colchester Road, less than a mile from their home in New Church Road, West Bergholt, at around 11.30pm on Monday.

Firefighters from Colchester helped free a 21-year-old rear seat passenger - believed to be Donna's long-term boyfriend, Aaron - and he was taken to Colchester General Hospital with serious back injuries. He has since been transferred to Queen's Hospital, Romford, for specialist treatment.

Yesterday flowers had been left at the scene of the accident with tributes from shocked family and friends.

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One read: “You will both be in our hearts and our memories. It has come as such a shock I'm almost lost for the right words to say.”

Another was simply signed from Auntie Lorna and family.

Donna and Oliver's parents, Fiona and Martyn, their sister Elise, her partner Mark and the children's grandparents said in a statement the family was devastated, and that the siblings had been “good kids”.

“They were both hard working and Oliver would do anything for anyone. They will be sadly missed by all their family and friends,” it added.

Donna had just spent a long weekend in Amsterdam with friends on a hen party.

She was a former pupil of the Gilberd School in Colchester, had her own pony, Cracker, and worked for four years at Park Farm in Great Horkesley as assistant yard manager until she left recently to work at Tiptree Equestrian Centre.

Gilberd School headteacher Linda Exley: “The Gilberd School was saddened to learn of the tragic death of Donna Read, an ex-student who left in 2004.

“Donna is fondly remembered by staff as an enthusiastic, supportive and positive student with a love of horses.

“She made a difference to the school community, especially in her role as prefect mentor to younger students. At this time our thoughts are very much with her family.”

Sue Hollingsworth, owner of Park Farm said that everyone was in a “state of shock” after hearing the tragic news.

“She was just a fantastic girl, very energetic and full of life - she loved life - and she was a very good littler rider,” she said.

She added: “She rode with us as a child from the age of seven and when she left school she came and worked with us while she did her exams and then qualified.

“She only just left us in August, she decided she wanted to spread her wings and we wished her well.”

Donna had worked at the Tiptree Equestrian Centre as head girl since the beginning of September but had already made a huge impact on all the staff, said owner Michelle Carter.

“She was a really, really nice girl, very friendly and very professional,” she said.

“She was small but she was feisty and she was very funny - she was someone you just clicked with immediately. We are absolutely devastated, everyone has been crying.”

She added: “She had been off for a long weekend and I was looking forward to her coming back today and telling us all about it. Just when she was away on Friday and Monday we were missing her.”

Tributes were also left to Donna on her profile page on the social networking website Facebook.

One, from Nikki-Marie Burnett, said “Miss you little one. RIP xxx” while Edward Allen said: “RIP Donna and Oli we will all miss you.”

On the site, Donna described her boyfriend, Aaron, who she had been with since the age of 16, as her proudest achievement and said she loved her nephew Joshua, the son of her sister Elise.

She added: “There's nothing better then to take my horses out to competitions as I work so hard with them all the time!”

Oliver had worked mostly in the scrap industry since leaving school, and his family said his interests included motorbikes, cars, his family and friends and most especially his nephew Joshua.

He went to the St Helena School in Colchester and left in year eleven to do a vocational course.

On his profile page on Facebook, he listed himself as single and said he loved clubbing and riding his motorbike and worked as a heavy plant operator in Ipswich.

St Helena headteacher Kevin Prince said yesterday: “Oliver was leaving the school at about the time that I started but from all the information we have here I can see he was quite a hard working boy when he was with us. The school's sympathies go out to the family. To lose a son and a daughter at the same time is a real tragedy.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to the accident and are also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the Audi, which was travelling towards Wormingford, before the collision.

They also need to trace another vehicle which was believed to have left nearby Maltings Park Road, in the direction of Colchester, at around the time of the crash.

Anyone who can help with investigation should call Stanway Road Policing Unit on 01206 762512.