Friends and family of Cookstown teenager Charly-Jean Thompson who died following a road accident in August last year, have held a special memorial event to celebrate what would have been her 16th Birthday.
Charly-Jean, passed away after being involved in a two-vehicle road accident on the Drum Road, Cookstown last year.
Charly and her boyfriend, Ryan McCracken, (17) were both passengers in one of the vehicles.
Mr McCracken was seriously injured in the accident and had to undergo surgery at the time.
Friends and family of Charly-Jean gathered together in Cookstown cemetery on Tuesday (21st January) to release balloons to mark what would have been the teenagers 16th Birthday.
Each balloon had hand-written messages attached from Charly-Jean’s family and friends. A family member who spoke at the cemetery thanked everyone for coming out to mark Charly-Jean’s “special birthday”, she told those gathered before the release of the balloons to ‘follow your dreams in life.’
Speaking to the
MAIL about their devastating loss, Charly-Jean’s grandmother said: “Our loss is overwhelming!
“Today (her 16th Birthday) would of been one of the happiest days in Charly’s life but now it is one of my family’s saddest.”
Phyllis Corr described Charly-Jean as “a loving granddaughter, and “a young lady on an adventure.”
She added: “Charly was a great humanitarian and I would like to ask you all in memory of Charly if you love someone tell them today, if you know someone who needs a hug give them one today, and do this in her memory. Live life freely without barriers and enjoy every moment! Love you always nanny Phyllis x.”
Following her death, a Facebook page set up in her memory was flooded with messages from her friends and family remembering Charly-Jean.
At the time of her death, Principal of Cookstown High School Graham Montgomery where Charly-Jean attended said: “Charly-Jean was a bright, well thought of pupil, who was popular with her peers and mixed well. Colleagues recall a girl who brought life and character to her classes and who had considerable potential.”