Tearful farewell to little Kiara

By Danielle NuttallHUNDREDS of mourners gathered to say a tearful farewell to a young girl who was killed in a road crash just days before her sixth birthday.

By Danielle Nuttall

HUNDREDS of mourners gathered to say a tearful farewell to a young girl who was killed in a road crash just days before her sixth birthday.

The funeral of Kiara Stevenson-Mann took place at All Hallows Church in Ipswich yesterday, attended by family, friends and neighbours.

A horse-drawn carriage carried Kiara's coffin the short distance from her home in Ireland Road to the church in Landseer Road, with her mother Michelle Stevenson and father Colin Mann and family following behind in cars.

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Both sides of the road were lined with hundreds of mourners and police officers either end of the cortege ensured traffic did not pass as the coffin arrived at the church.

Many of the people who attended the funeral had not known Kiara, but had been left saddened by her death, which happened on August 14.

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The little girl had been riding her bike along Landseer Road when it came off the pavement and went into the path of an oncoming coach.

Kiara, who leaves a younger sister, Georgia, died after suffering severe head injuries. She had been due to celebrate her sixth birthday at a party with friends and family five days later on August 19.

Yesterday's ceremony took place opposite the accident site and dozens of flowers, cards and teddy bears marked the spot as a tribute to the little girl's short life.

Her coffin was carried into church by her father, along with his brother and two of Kiara's uncles.

Mourners stood in silence as the service began, conducted by parish assistant Roz Leggett and including the hymn He's Got the Whole World in His Hand.

During the funeral, family friend Ron Littlewood described Kiara as a “loveable” little girl and said the letters of her name symbolised kind, inquisitive, adorable, rose and angel.

He added: “Kiara attended Cliff Lane Primary School, where she was much-loved by her class and also by her teachers.

“You have only got to read the farewell messages left with the flowers in Landseer Road, which Kiara's family thank you for, also the kind person who looked after the flowers and watered them.

“Kiara is our little angel. She always brought a smile to us and everyone she met.”

Mr Littlewood said the family wanted mourners to take a brief moment to spare a thought for the driver and his family.

Ms Legget told the congregation there was no tragedy as great as the loss of a child and added: “No doubt you will be asking the same question as I - 'Why?'.

“Kiara's death was not due to anyone's lack of love or care for her and neither was it due to any failing on God's part. Kiara's death was simply a tragic accident.”

The service concluded with the R Kelly song, If I could Turn Back The Hands of Time, and the procession then headed for a committal at Ipswich Lawn Cemetery.


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