South Yorkshire crash trio families still in mourning

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The heartbroken father of a teenage girl who died in a car crash with her two friends said the families are still coming to terms with the tragedy three years on.

Andy Birkett said Christmas will never be the same again after his daughter Lauren, aged 16, and her friends Robert Tepper and Jonathan Scott, both 17, were killed in a crash in Mexborough.

His comments came as an estimated 100 family and friends attended a balloon release at the Adwick Road crash scene at 8pm on December 27, exactly three years since the tragedy.

The family also played some of the trio’s favourite songs.

The 49-year-old glass worker, who lives with wife Sue, aged 52, in Lynwood Drive, Mexborough, said: “We are all still heartbroken of course.

“It has only been three years and is still all very raw.

“We have tried to help each other through it.

“Christmas is obviously very different for us all now, and will never be the same again.”

Robert, Lauren and Jonathan were killed when the Vauxhall Corsa in which they were travelling ploughed head-on into a VW Golf.

Fellow teenager Chloe Newby survived the crash but with multiple injuries.

Chloe, Robert and Lauren, all of Mexborough, and driver Jonathan, from Conisbrough, attended Mexborough School.

Three trees have also been planted, and a bench sited at the crash scene, in their honour.

Mr Birkett said: “We want to keep having events like this to keep their memory alive.”