A Lake Macquarie teenager who died in a car crash on the Mid North Coast is being described as “a beautiful angel”, as friends pay tribute on social media.
Friends of Jade Finn, 16, have paid tribute to the Toronto High School student on social media, after the four-wheel-drive carrying her family of seven was involved in a crash with a van on the Pacific Highway, about 30km south of Port Macquarie, at about 11am on Thursday.
Jade died at the scene.
Two of her family members, a 37-year-old woman and a nine-year-old girl, were flown to John Hunter Hospital for treatment of severe fractures.
The remaining family members, a 20-year-old man, a 40-year-old woman and two boys – aged 15 and six – were taken to Port Macquarie Hospital as a precaution.
The 20-year-old driver of the van – a UK national – has since been charged with not giving way and negligent driving, causing death.
He was released on conditional bail to appear at Port Macquarie local court on Friday.
The man’s 20-year-old passenger did not require medical treatment.
Tributes to Jade began flowing onto social media on Thursday afternoon.
“Forever 16, I love you so much Jade. Your (sic) so so gorgeous,” one friend wrote.
“I know your (sic) watching over me but its (sic) not the same. You will always be my best friend,” another posted.
Another wrote: “You will be missed by so many people… another angel grown her wings way to (sic) young”.
On the Toronto High School Facebook page, principal Mark McConville wrote a message to the school community about “the tragic news”.
“I wish to express condolences to Jade’s family and friends. No words can make a difference in these heartbreaking circumstances,” he said.
“Jade was a bright and bubbly student who was well known and liked by students and staff. Her passing has been a major shock to the school community.
“We will have counsellors and support in place for students and families on the recommencement of school on Monday 9th October.
“The family is in our thoughts and prayers.”
The horror crash came just hours before the start of Operation Slow Down – the statewide long-weekend road safety campaign that began at 12.01am on Friday.