Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Roadside vigil as friends pay their tributes to crash victim

'No one can take her place', Adele's pal tells mourners

Adele's mother Shirley (left) is comforted at last night's vigil which was attended by hundreds of people
Adele's mother Shirley (left) is comforted at last night's vigil which was attended by hundreds of people

Family and friends have remembered a 14-year-old road accident victim at a sorrowful vigil in her memory.

Adele Whiteside, a pupil at Dunmurry High School from the Finaghy Road area of Belfast, was knocked down and killed on Finaghy Road South on her way home from a wedding on Saturday night.

Police closed off the road for almost two hours last night to enable Adele's stunned friends, neighbours and family to gather in her memory.

Her family hugged each other and sobbed as they read messages left on floral tributes.

Hundreds of people, including Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey, gathered near the spot where the collision occurred.

Pictures showing the smiling schoolgirl were affixed to walls. Friends wore T-shirts bearing her picture on the front and the words 'Adele 07' on the back.

The vigil opened with a procession of young people from Finaghy Youth Centre - where Adele was a member -to the scene of the collision.

If Tomorrow Never Comes, sung by Ronan Keating, was played.

Pastor David Dunlop told the crowd: "I don't know why tragedies like this happen, why someone so full of love and life like Adele was taken away from us ... I encourage you to offer your support to this grieving family now and in the time to come and I urge you to pray to a God who understands your pain and shares your sorrows."

Adele's uncle, David Close, referred to a tribute paid to Adele by her mother Shirley in a local newspaper, in which the devastated woman said: " Adele was my life and soul and if she told you she loved you once a day, she told you 20 times.

"She topped her class this year and was named best improved pupil in Year Eight, and she was so proud."

Two of Adele's closest friends, Chanel Curran and Sharlene Foster, and her cousins, David Fell and Naomi Stewart, wept as they made short eulogies.

Sharlene said: "We had the perfect friendship ... she was so beautiful ... no-one will ever take her place as my best friend."

One man was arrested in connection with Adele's death, but was released on bail pending further enquiries.

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