'Beautiful angels' laid to rest as funeral is held for cousins killed in Blackhall road crash
A message of love was flown across the sky in memory of two cousins who lost their lives in a tragic road crash.
Three-year-old Kelsey Marie Stokes and 17-year-old Shauna Stokes died following a crash between a van and the blue Peugeot 206 they were travelling in on the Coast Road between Horden and Blackhall Colliery on Wednesday, September 2.
Several others with the girls on the way to a birthday celebration for Shauna and her twin sister, Kelly, were taken to hospital following the collision.
Today, in Derry in Northern Ireland, their loved ones gathered for a requiem mass, with emotional scenes as tributes flooded in.
Many mourners at the service at St Joseph’s Church, in Galliagh, wore T-shirts decorated with photographs of them, while a small aeroplane flew overhead carrying a message of love, with a banner saying ‘2 Beautiful Angels Left 4 Heaven’ flowing behind it.
Fr Michael McCaughey said their tragic loss had left the families and the wider community devastated and heartbroken.
He said everyone’s thoughts were with them and those who were injured as they prayed that “these two young people in the shortness of their lives rest in the gentleness of God’s presence in Heaven”.
In a tribute to her daughter, Kelsey Marie’s mother, Michelle, wrote: “To my beautiful daughter Kelsey, I’m so sad you have to go. I will miss you every single day.
"There’s not a second or day that I don’t think about you; you are always on my mind.
“You were my little cheeky girl and I love you in every single way.
"You and your sister were so, so close, you still are close, just not together but apart.
"Me and your daddy really, really love you.
"You are so strong and me and daddy are trying to be strong too.
"You were my princess.”
Kelsey Marie’s mother recalled how her daughter loved Peppa Pig, with toys of the character among the items representing the cousins at the service.
“You are an angel now, I know you are beside me all the time.
"We were very close friends, we are closer now as you are always in my heart,” she wrote.
Following the funeral service, both girls were taken by horse-drawn carriage, one at a time, to their place of rest.