Tragic friends were top of their class

TEENAGE friends tragically killed in a car crash were the two highest achieving girls in their sixth form, their exam results have revealed.Headteacher Trevor Osborne said results day at Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, was “tinged with sadness” because of the deaths of 18-year-olds Carla Took and Claire Stoddart.

TEENAGE friends tragically killed in a car crash were the two highest achieving girls in their sixth form, their exam results have revealed.

Headteacher Trevor Osborne said results day at Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, was “tinged with sadness” because of the deaths of 18-year-olds Carla Took and Claire Stoddart.

Last night, Carla's family said they had mixed emotions about her exceptional A-level grades, which were more than enough to secure her place on her chosen course at the University of Lincoln.

In a statement, they said they were “extremely proud” of her but also so sad that she was not here to open the results herself, celebrate and benefit from all the hard work that she had done.


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“She wanted so much to go to university but she will never have the chance to fulfil those dreams,” they said.

“She was a perfectionist, who always strived to do her best. She was such a hardworking girl and had put the effort in to get the results.”

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The teenagers had celebrated the end of their exams by going to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Ipswich but on their return home they were involved in a horrific crash in the early hours of July 1.

The collision happened in Blythburgh, near Southwold, and claimed the lives of the two girls, as well as Claire's 15-year-old sister Jennifer. They were travelling in a Vauxhall Astra with two other friends.

Simon Bonner, 40 from Yoxford, a passenger in the Renault Laguna involved in the head-on crash on the A12, died at the scene while passenger Kim Abbott, 41 and also from Yoxford, lost her fight for life in hospital weeks later.

As the girls' classmates picked up their A level results yesterday, they and their teachers were well aware of the two faces missing, their headteacher said.

Claire achieved an A in English literature, B in biology and B in chemistry, enabling her to study pharmacy at Nottingham University as she had hoped.

Carla, who wanted to read media studies, gained an A in English literature, A in media, A in ICT and C in history.

“They were the two highest achieving girls in our sixth form,” Mr Osborne said.

“It has been poignant today. There was a great deal of joy and it was lovely to see that year group, which has been through an awful time, celebrating and happy.

“All of the students in that group have got through to the university places there were looking for.

“There was a lot of joy and laughter but it is tinged with sadness as everyone has talked of Claire and Carla.

“It has been poignant for the students and staff as there were two faces that would have been celebrating and delighted that were not there.”

Claire's sister Jenny was also due to pick up results yesterday as the year 10 student had sat an exam two years early.

Her headteacher said she had achieved a B grade in the AVCE IT exam and described it as an “outstanding success”.

The sisters' parents and Carla's family, all from Lowestoft, had each arranged for other people to pick up their daughters' results, Mr Osborne said.

Adam Cox, who was a passenger in the Vauxhall Astra and was hospitalised with serious hand injuries after the crash, went to the school to collect his grades.

He achieved two As in photography and media and two Bs in English literature and business studies, getting into university with better than expected grades.

Sarah Mitchell, 18, who was also a passenger in the car, is still in hospital. Mr Osborne, who could not release her results yesterday, confirmed she had done well and achieved the grades needed for her university place.

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