A teenage girl killed in a late night crash near the Londonderry and Donegal border was an “amazing” person, a devastated friend has said.
Laura Szewc died in the accident close to Nixon’s Corner on the Letterkenny Road at 11.30pm on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old, a student at North West Regional College, was born in Poland but raised in Derry.
Laura, from the Cornshell Fields, had been a passenger in a Vauxhall Corsa which is believed to have hit a tree. Two of her friends who were in the car were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash and police have launched an appeal for witnesses.
Her friend Jenny Deane told the Belfast Telegraph that Laura’s family, friends and the entire community were devastated about the young woman’s death.
“Laura was an amazing girl,” she said.
“She was just so full of life and energy. She didn’t just walk into my house, she burst in. It is truly awful, she had a bright future ahead of her.
“She was working away and studying at the North West Regional College. She was doing her A-levels in Polish. She wanted to become an interpreter and to travel. It’s just heartbreaking.
“Her mother is absolutely devastated, she can’t take it in, she can’t accept it.”
Jenny visited the scene yesterday to pay her respects.
“I went down this morning to the crash scene and laid flowers for Laura beside the tree,” she added. “My heart was breaking. Everyone is just broken by this.
“I’ve had people messaging me all day that I didn’t even know knew Laura. She had that effect on people, everyone loved her. She was so happy. I never saw her in a bad mood.
“She loved her friends and her family and her music. She volunteered at a local farm and loved animals.
“It’s just so sad. People will remember her as being the life and soul of the place. She was infectious, so funny and so outgoing. It’s a tragedy.”
Yesterday friends of the popular teenager took to social media to express their shock and sorrow over her death.
“You never know what’s around the corner,” wrote one friend. “You were one in a million, Laura.
“This just proves only the best looks over us. I’ll never ever forget the memories with you. I am absolutely heartbroken.”
Another wrote: “Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Life is so cruel. Only just yesterday we were laughing together.”
And another said Laura “always made everyone smile”.
SDLP MLA Mark Durkan said the community was “in shock”.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” he said.
“The community is in shock and sadness today that this girl has lost her life on our roads.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and with her friends.
“It’s important that they are there for each other and that we are here for them.”