Lantern and balloon release marks anniversary of Pulham crash which killed three teenagers
PUBLISHED: 07:36 07 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 07 April 2018
Lanterns and balloons were released into the sky in an emotional tribute to three much-loved teenagers on the first anniversary of a devastating crash which claimed their lives.
Kyle Warren, Billy Hines and Dominic O’Neill died after the black Ford Ka they were travelling in came off the road at Pulham Market and hit a tree.
Their tragic deaths resulted in an outpouring of sadness and grief across the community, with hundreds of their friends attending their funerals and organising tributes in their honour.
And to show the popular trio will never be forgotten, friends organised a series of tributes to mark the first anniversary of the crash, which happened shortly before midnight on April 5.
The boys were formally recorded as deceased at 12.17am on April 6.
Lanterns and balloons were let off at the crash site in Tivetshall Road 11.50am on Thursday to mark exactly a year since the crash.
Many of the boys’ friends had spent the day with the Hines family in Wortham preparing Billy’s Volkswagen Golf to take part in a memorial car run between Diss and Great Yarmouth, which takes place on Sunday, April 8.
The vehicle, which Billy had planned to learn to drive in and was modifying ready for when he passed his test, will be driven by his brother Jack.
Billy’s parents and brothers also visited his grave, while friends of Dominic and his mother Davina visited Southwold – Dominic’s spiritual home – to throw flowers into the sea and visit a plaque installed on the pier in his honour.
Mrs O’Neill also visited the scene of the crash in Tivetshall Road, Pulham Market on Easter Sunday to help tidy up the huge shrine of decorations and flowers which has adorned the site since last year.
Helen Orford, Kyle’s mother, marked the anniversary by laying a specially-made spring wreath next to Kyle’s ashes.
The Rev Canon Nigel Tuffnell, of the Seven Churches group which includes Harleston’s St John the Baptist Church, said the friends of the teenagers deserved great credit for the compassion they have showed in responding to the tragedy.
He said: “The first anniversary is one of those milestones, like the first birthdays and Christmas without them.
“There is generally ongoing support but it is not in your face. They are remembering them but not making something more of it than the families want to.”
Mrs O’Neill said being told the news last year was a “horrendous shock”, adding: “It was like someone had got a big plank of wood and hit me in the chest.”
Asked how she had coped since the crash, she said: “I think it’s just from having the support in my community.
“It’s just having people who you know you can knock on their door, say you’re not coping today and them not questioning why you’re having a bad day.
“My next door neighbour will frequently knock on the door and sometimes, that’s all you need – knowing that people care.”