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Shock at death of school principal's teenage daughter

By Deborah McAleese

Published 08/05/2015

Tragedy: Bethany Topping
Tragedy: Bethany Topping

Shocked friends of a teenage girl who died this week in tragic circumstances have described her as "one in a million".

Co Antrim girl Bethany Topping died on Tuesday after a number of days fighting for her life in the Intensive Care Unit of Antrim Area Hospital.

Bethany was rushed to the hospital following a tragic incident.

It is understood that the 16-year-old, from Broughshane, had suffered from depression.

Social media sites have been flooded with tributes for the former pupil of Cambridge House Grammar School in Ballymena.

Bethany's father, Richard Topping, is the headmaster of Broughshane Primary School, which is closed today as a mark of respect.

The school said it was saddened and shocked by Bethany's death.

"The governors and staff of Broughshane Primary School wish to convey their deepest sympathies to the principal, Mr Richard Topping, following the death of his daughter, Bethany," the school said in a statement.

The statement added: "The entire school community is saddened and shocked and offers thoughts, prayers and support to the Topping family."

Bethany's heartbroken sister Amy thanked all of her friends for their support in an online message. "Thank you for all the beautiful pictures and posts about Bethany. It means the world to my family and I," she said on Facebook.

Amy added: "Thank you again to everyone who has showed their support, it has made the past few days a lot easier to cope with knowing that Bethany has impacted so many lives in so many different ways."

People who knew Bethany described her as "beautiful" and "a lovely girl". One friend said on Facebook: "Such sad, sad news, heaven well and truly gained a beautiful angel. Thoughts are with all of Bethany's friends and family at this time. Rest in peace beautiful, you were one in a million."

Another added: "Thoughts are with the Topping family can't get my head round that you're gone, you will be missed by many. Depression is such a terrible thing."

One person wrote: "Bethany was the loveliest and most down-to-earth girl you could meet. Such a cruel world we're living in, heart goes out to her family and close friends at this heart-breaking time."

In another post a friend said: "Thinking of you so much and all the good memories we shared, especially the ones from back in the day. Forever in our hearts, love you to bits Bethany".

Another friend wrote: "Sleep tight my No.1 girl. I love you."

In another post a friend said: "So devastated to hear about Bethany. She was a lovely and beautiful girl and she will be missed."

Bethany's funeral is due to take place tomorrow at High Kirk Presbyterian Church.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article, contact the Samaritans on 084 5790 9090, or Lifeline (080 8808 8000)

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