The headteacher of a school mourning the loss of a much loved student has thanked staff and pupils for ‘a moving and emotional tribute’ during a special gathering.
John Dowler, head of Helsby High School , opened up the school on Monday morning, in the middle of the Christmas break, to allow teachers and friends of 16-year-old Alexandra Tattersall to remember her and comfort each other.
Alex, a member of the lower sixth, died on Friday (December 18) after being fatally injured while a passenger in a blue Volkswagen Polo that was involved in a collision with a red Nissan Micra on Manley Road, near Helsby , at about 4.20pm last Wednesday (December 16).
Four others were taken to hospital including a 72-year-old woman passenger in the Micra, who suffered serious injuries, and an 11-year-old girl, also from the Micra, with minor injuries.
On Monday grief-stricken young people made a pilgrimage to the sad event at the school where they consoled each other after laying flowers and signing a book of condolence. The book was also signed by Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans who turned up to pay his respects to Alex who is survived by parents Adrian and Debbie Tattersall and her two sisters .
Headteacher Mr Dowler wrote afterwards on the school website : “The thoughts of the whole Helsby High School community remain with Alex Tattersall’s family at this awful time. Alex was an exceptional and inspirational young person, a much loved and valued member of our school.
“I would like to say a big thank you and well done to everyone for a moving and emotional tribute to Alex. The level of mutual support and dignity shown by all our young people was exceptional and commented on by many, including the local MP Graham Evans.”
The morning concluded with some words spoken by Alex’s closest friends in the sixth form including her boyfriend.
Mr Dowler added: “I would also like to thank the many staff and governors who were in school to support our young people. On a personal level I would like to thank Jonny, Amber, Jess, Nik, Kate and Caitlin for advising me and for their words at the end of the morning. I was extremely proud of them and the whole school during what was a very sad but inspiring morning.
“Many young people told me how they appreciated the school being open and how it had helped them during a very difficult time. I know that the mutual support which they have shown, together with the love of their families will be a great comfort during the weeks to come.
“When I met Alex’s family in the early afternoon they wished me to pass on their sincere thanks for the many lovely comments and photographs in the hall. They were overwhelmed by the flowers.”
Both school minibuses were needed to convey the flowers to Alex’s Manley home before being placed in her ‘fairy garden’ that afternoon.
Mr Dowler concluded: “Thank you everyone for demonstrating, once again, what a fantastic and supportive school we have at Helsby High School.”
■ An investigation into the cause of the collision is continuing. Anyone with any information in relation to the incident is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 636 of December 16.