Family mourns 'ray of sunshine'

PUBLISHED: 17:10 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 06:59 30 May 2010

Laura Barker with rescue dog Spike in 2006

Laura Barker with rescue dog Spike in 2006

A FAMILY are grieving at the loss of their youngest daughter who died in a road crash. Laura Barker, 27, was working in her dream job as care manager at the Danaher Animal Home in Wethersfield before she died on a road near to where she had worked for m

A FAMILY are grieving at the loss of their youngest daughter who died in a road crash.

Laura Barker, 27, was working in her "dream job" as care manager at the Danaher Animal Home in Wethersfield before she died on a road near to where she had worked for more than 10 years.

The accident happened on a treacherous corner on the B1053 near to Hudson Hill when her black Ford Maverick 4x4 was in collision with a lorry carrying telegraph poles.

Following the accident last Wednesday lunchtime an ambulance crew took her to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, but she died soon after arrival.

Miss Barker leaves behind an older brother, Adam, 33, and and sister Elaine, 30 and a three-year-old niece Libby.

Elaine flew back from her home in the USA on the same night as the crash. She said: "We are all struggling to cope at the moment."

Her parents Jackie and Nigel described her as a "ray of sunshine" and said she had been the happiest she had been for a long time having set up home in Wethersfield.

A former pupil of the village primary school Miss Barker was a well known woman and tributes continue to pour in.

General manager of the animal home, Bob Ferdinando, said: "I couldn't believe it when I heard the news. I spoke to her at 11.55am - half an hour before the crash. When I heard she had died in hospital we were all distraught, we closed the home as a mark of respect."

Miss Barker's funeral will be held on Thursday May 8 at Wethersfield Church. Her uncle, sister and manager have all been invited to speak at the open ceremony.

Mr Ferdinando said: "The church will be packed as she had so many friends. She was so brilliant at her job and loved the animals. It is all so unexpected, we will continue to keep the centre open because we believe that is what she would have wanted.

"Cards have been flooding in and we have been taking them to her parent's house. I give them my very deepest sympathies."

Donations can be made to the Danaher Animal Home. Mr Ferdinando will consult friends and family before deciding on a memorial.

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