A 15-YEAR-OLD Accrington schoolgirl has died in a car crash while on the way to her grandmother’s funeral in Poland.
Beata Bajorek, a year 10 pupil at Mount Carmel High School, was travelling with her parents and younger sister when tragedy struck last Thursday morning.
The parents of the teenager, who live in Ormerod Street, were injured in the accident close to the German border.
Beata’s 12-year-old sister Adrianna, a year eight student at the Wordsworth Road school, escaped unharmed.
Mount Carmel headteacher Katrina Ryan led tributes to the ‘popular’ teenager who had planned to travel the world.
"She was a vivacious student who was an asset to our school community and will be dearly missed by us all.
"Adrianna rang me on Friday from a hospital. She was in deep shock and told me her sister had died. She said she was asleep at the time the crash happened.
"It wasn’t an easy conversation as you can imagine. Obviously she was very upset," added Miss Ryan.
Of the 785 pupils that attend Mount Carmel around 30 are Polish.
Beata had a close circle of friends, both Polish and English, who described her as kind, helpful, funny and happy.
She enjoyed sport, particularly basketball and volleyball, and loved Hip Hop music - especially the Polish singer Peja.
More than 200 people attended a special memorial mass service for Beata at St Joseph’s RC Church – where she was an active parish member – yesterday (Thursday) evening.
Half the service was in Polish and half in English as a Polish priest joined Father Martin Saunders, of St Joseph’s, to oversee proceedings.
Two readings, two poems and tributes were read by her friends during the service.
One of the readings said: "She was young and had everything to live for. She intended to travel the world and sincerely believed she could change it for the better."
Father Saunders said: "She was a very active and pleasant girl. The parish is gathering together to pray for her and her family and to welcome her into heaven."
Staff and pupils at Mount Carmel had also held a special remembrance event last Friday.
Miss Ryan added: "It was a very emotional day for teachers and students. We were shocked and upset at the death of a student. When students are so emotional it's hard."
Beata’s parents remained in hospital over the weekend but the extent of their injuries is not known.
Since the tragic incident staff and pupils at the school have been offered counselling.
It is believed Beata’s funeral will be held in Poland.