Heartbroken friends have paid emotional tributes to the young woman who was found dead outside Belfast City Hospital on Sunday morning.
Tara Wright, 17, has been described as “an amazing, funny and kind person” who had “a smile that would make anyone’s day”.
Police believe her death is linked to a single-vehicle road traffic collision on the Ballygowan Road in the early hours of Sunday morning, although their investigations into the tragedy are at an early stage.
Speaking to the News Letter, friend and colleague Ellis Quigley said he can’t believe Tara is gone.
The 18-year-old, who worked with Tara at clothing store Gap and more recently at TeleperformanceUK – a call centre in Newry – said: “The character that she had, she was someone you would just wish to have as a co-worker. You would always see her smile first, and you could just feel the energy.
“You’d see her at her desk and whether she was smiling or rolling her eyes or whatever you’d know it was something you couldn’t wait to hear about. She was always full of craic and funny memories.
“I could always just look over and spot her, but it’s crazy to think that when I look over now she won’t be there.”
He added: “From all the lovely tributes on Facebook you can see that she had many amazing friends and so many people who loved her.”
After hearing the terrible news on Sunday, Ellis posted a tribute to his friend on Facebook. He wrote: “Can’t believe I only saw Tara yesterday and saw that smile that would make anyone’s day and now she’s gone. The funny memories of work and nights out seeing her will be cherished so much. Sending so much love and prayers to her family and friends.”
Also posting on Facebook, another friend Neo Godson wrote: “I honestly can’t believe I am writing this my heart is completely broke, Tara you were such an amazing, funny and kind person. A best friend to me you walked into the room and just put a smile on everyone’s face! You brought the laugh to anywhere you went you knew how to just make everyone happy. You were just so amazing and unique. All of the memories I have of us I will cherish forever. I would do anything in this world to hear your voice one more time. I love you always and rest easy beautiful.”
Officers investigating the circumstances of Tara’s death have appealed for witnesses to come forward. They can be contacted on 101.