Wednesday, 19 December 2018

We’ve lost our Miss Sunshine

THE parents of a former Henley student who was killed in a car crash have paid tribute to their “happy,

THE parents of a former Henley student who was killed in a car crash have paid tribute to their “happy, bouncy and friendly” daughter.

Emily Clements, 20, from Goring, died shortly after the collision on the A4074, a mile south of Cane End, at 8am on Thursday last week.

She was driving towards Reading when her Nissan Micra collided with a Land Rover Discovery coming the other way.

The 20-year-old suffered critical injuries and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by air ambulance but died hours later.

Miss Clements lived in Springhill Road with her parents Brian, 61, a car salesman, and Joanne, 49, a licensing support officer for South Oxfordshire District Council.

She grew up in Goring and attended Goring Primary School and Langtree School in Woodcote before studying for an art and design diploma at The Henley College.

Her brother Oliver, 23, is a primary school teacher in Kingston-upon-Thames. After finishing her studies in 2012, Miss Clements worked as a store assistant at Dorothy Perkins in Reading before becoming a receptionist at Albert Fields hair salon in High Street, Goring.

She had started a new job as a customer service advisor for power company SSE in Reading only two weeks before the tragedy.

She took a keen interest in fashion and was known for experimenting with make-up and changing her hair colour and was even considering a career in the beauty industry.

Her family, friends and former colleagues described her as a “shining light” with a consistently positive outlook on life. Mr and Mrs Clements have received more than 100 cards of sympathy and dozens of bouquets, which they have set up in their living room.

Mrs Clements said: “Emily was a happy, friendly and bouncy person who was always smiling.

“One of the cards said she was ‘pure sunshine’ - that’s exactly what she was and it’s how everyone will always remember her.

“She hadn’t been long in the new job but she was very excited about it and was getting on really well.

“She always worked in customer service roles because she loved meeting and talking to people.

“Emily was quite well known at Albert Fields because a lot of the cards have been from people who knew her from there.

“They said the last time we saw her she had changed her hair colour yet again. We didn’t realise she knew so many people but we’ve had an unbelievable number of cards all saying lovely things.

“We’ve been sent so many bouquets that the house looks like a florist’s.”

Mr Clements said: “Emily was still in touch with people she knew from school and college and had a wide circle of friends who she enjoyed going out with.

“She loved her make-up, hairstyles, socialising with her friends, going out and just living her life to the full. She made the best of every situation and always saw the good in everything.

“I remember we used to go on beach holidays to the Gower in Wales, where the weather can often be a bit inclement.

“That didn’t matter to Emily — even if it was raining. She’d gone on a beach holiday so she was going to swim in the sea no matter what.

“She was never down and always upbeat about everything — she was an absolute delight.”

In April last year Miss Clements and her colleagues at Albert Fields took part in a 23-mile trek which raised £654 pounds for the charity WaterAid.

Sarah Munnings, director of the salon, said: “She was the one person who turned up for that walk in a fashionable outfit.

“We were all wearing stout walking boots and these horrendous fuddy-duddy clothes but she’d had her hair done and was wearing leggings and a slightly sheer top.

“She’d realised the weather might be wet at the last minute and dug out an old waterproof she’d had since she was a child. It was too small but it looked quite funky.

“We all said, ‘You do realise we’ve got to walk 23 miles, don’t you?’ but she finished it with the rest of us and we all went to the pub afterwards.

“Emily was extremely vivacious, glamourous and exquisitely beautiful. She brightened up the salon and was always professional and friendly.

“It’s ironic that she was always the most beautifully styled even though she was the only one here who wasn’t a hairdresser.

“Our clients will always remember her for her friendliness and her many beautiful shades of lipstick.

“She was the perfect employee - she made everything that much easier and was a real pleasure to have around.

“I only knew her for two years but I feel privileged that she was part of my life. Her death is a hugely tragic loss and all our thoughts are with her family.”

Others left tributes on the salon’s Facebook page.

Hilary Henry-Lyons, from Streatley, said: “So many hearts are breaking on hearing this tragic news. You were truly a shining light in this grey old world.

“I’ll never forget your wonderful voice and your lovely way with people. You’ll forever be a beautiful angel wearing fabulous lipstick.”

Gillian Murray said: “Dearest Emily, you were such a joy. Your love of pugs and the shoe chat I will remember always.”

Jayne Davis, principal of The Henley College, said: “The college staff, in particular those who knew Emily well, were deeply saddened to hear about her tragic death. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.”

An SSE spokesman said: “Emily joined our team in Reading at the turn of the year and became an extremely popular member of the SSE family in a very short time.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Emily’s family, friends and anyone who knew her at this extremely sad and difficult time.”

An inquest into Miss Clements’ death has been opened and adjourned.

Her funeral will take place at St Thomas’ Church in Goring on a date to be confirmed.

Police, ambulance and fire crews attended the scene of the crash, which led to the road being closed for five hours.

The two occupants of the Land Rover, a mother and her teenage son, were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where they were treated for minor injuries.

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should contact PC Sarah Davies on 101.

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