The mother of a Shermanbury teenager tragically killed in a car accident has paid tribute to her ‘social butterfly’ daughter who had many friends.
Alexandra Giddings, 19, was driving on the B2116 Shermanbury Road when her Citroen left the road and struck a tree near Partridge Green at around 10.20pm on May 14, 2015.
She was the only person in the car and died the following morning at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after ‘significant efforts’ to save her life.
Speaking at an inquest in Worthing on Thursday, Alexandra’s mother, Susan Giddings, said her daughter had loved her job at Bluebells Nursery in Partridge Green.
In a statement read by coroner Christopher Wilkinson, Mrs Giddings said: “Alexandra absolutely loved working with children and it was inevitable she would later end up working with them.
“In her younger years her hobbies were playing football and dog training. Alexandra played football for two local teams.
“However recently the wide and varied group of friends she had meant a lot to her, and she loved spending time with them socialising.
“She was a social butterfly, and the glue that held all of their friendship groups together. It is only now that we truly appreciate how many friends she had, and how well-loved she was.”
Mrs Giddings said Alexandra had spent ten weeks volunteering at a school in South Africa in February of this year.
“Alexandra absolutely loved the experience, she was amazed to see the children so happy and content despite the poor facilities they were subject to.”
Alexandra was educated at Partridge Green Primary School and then Steyning Grammar School, before training to become a nursery nurse at Brighton and Hove City College.
“Alexandra was a giving soul, who often joked that she should be a relationship councillor to her friends,” Mrs Giddings said.
“She was a truly good and loyal friend. She had a brilliant personality, and was so kind and caring.”
She had a ‘brilliant’ relationship with her mother, father and younger sister, Mrs Giddings said.
On the night of May 14, Alexandra told her mother she was going to drive to her father’s house around a mile away to feed her cats.
Mrs Giddings said: “Alexandra gave me a big hug and as she was leaving I told her that she should be careful because it was raining and the roads were wet.
Alexandra relied, ‘I’ll be fine, I’ll see you in a mo, Mothership’.”
The inquest heard that Alexandra travelled along the B2116 at least twice a day for work or to visit her father.
Forensic evidence suggested her Citroen C1 clipped a curb on a right hand bend before going into a spin and colliding with a large oak tree.
The inquest heard that efforts were made to resuscitate her from the driver of a red van and then paramedics at the scene.
She was flown to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, but despite ‘significant efforts’ to save her life, she died because of her head injury at 7.52am on May 15.
A post mortem revealed that Alexandra had not consumed any alcohol, and expert analysis of her car revealed no safety concerns.
The inquest heard that Alexandra may have been driving ‘slightly faster’ than she normally did along the 40mph road, and that the damp road conditions was likely to have been a factor in her accident.
Returning a verdict that Alexandra died as a result of the collision, coroner Christopher Wilkinson said: “This was sadly a tragic accident.
“Once the chain of events (of the collision) started there would have been very little anyone could have done to prevent it and I genuinely believe she did not suffer.”
Mrs Giddings added: “Our family is devastated at the loss of Alexandra and there will always be a massive void in our lives.”
“From what I have heard it’s clear that although her life was short she lived a full life and gave a lot to a lot of people.”
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