Tears for Caloundra's Hope Dell after tragic crash
A BEAMING smile and big bright eyes, 17-year-old Hope Dell had her entire life ahead of her.
Tragically, the Caloundra State High School graduate's dreams of life after school were cut short when she was killed in a traffic crash at Caloundra- just two weeks before Christmas.
Tributes quickly began to pour in yesterday for the popular student as word spread of her untimely death.
Described as bright, bubbly and a good friend, Hope had just finished Year 12 and had a promising future.
Her death would be felt by the entire school community, but would hit her grieving family the hardest. Hope was also a twin.
Hope was a passenger in a car travelling in the westbound lanes of Caloundra Rd just before the Caloundra Airport-Daniel St roundabout on Thursday night, when the teenage driver lost control and smashed into a tree in the median strip.
The car spun around and the full impact hit Hope's side of the car where she sat in the front passenger seat. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters tore the roof off the car to free the driver and another female passenger, both aged 17, using hydraulic cutting equipment.
They were transported to Nambour General Hospital. As at yesterday afternoon the driver was in a stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit and the passenger was in a stable condition in a general ward.
A Forensic Crash Unit spokesman said police had focused their investigations on whether speed was a factor as well as actions taken by the driver prior to the crash.
Hope had just spent the evening with friends and was in the car with her two friends at the time of the crash.
It is believed another group of teenagers - Hope's friends - were in a second car just metres from the scene when it crashed. They were some of the first faced with the devastating scenes that no young person should see.
Mourners returned to the site yesterday, which was the scene of so much devastation just hours earlier, to leave flowers, notes and cards to remember Hope and share in their grief.
Her friends are still in shock over the tragic death, all too soon.
A Facebook page in Hope's memory has already attracted more than 3000 "likes" and memories have flooded in.
Caloundra State High School principal Julie Pozzoli issued a statement through Education Queensland to extend her deepest sympathies to friends, staff and all students who knew Hope.
"This is an absolute shock and tragedy and the school's thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terrible time," Mrs Pozzoli said.
"Hope was a bright and bubbly student with a smile for everyone that she met.
"She was quiet in class, but a hard worker and was enormously liked by her teachers who described her as a pleasure to teach.
"She will be greatly missed."
The school's chaplain, guidance officer and nurse have provided support and counselling.
Hope was the 16th person to died on Sunshine Coast roads this year.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart launched the Christmas Road Safety campaign on Thursday to coincide with the start of the summer school break.
Drivers have been urged to turn on their headlights on motorways and highways to "light their drive" and show a sign of their support for road safety.