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Touching tribute to 'sparkling' Laura, 20

By Lichfield Mercury  |  Posted: August 08, 2013

By Alex Keller

  • Touching tribute to 'sparkling' Laura, 20

  • Apprentice teaching assistant Laura Jane Thomas. "Her loss has left a huge hole which will never be filled."

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THE sister of a 20-year-old teaching assistant who died in a freak road smash has made a touching tribute to her "unique spirit and loving nature".

Laura Jane Thomas, whose family hail from Chasetown, was en route to a holiday in Aberystwyth with her fiance when tragedy struck.

The couple's silver Vauxhall Astra broke down on the A5 near Shrewsbury and, while the pair waited for assistance outside the vehicle, the car was in collision with an HGV lorry.

Laura was airlifted to hospital in Stoke but was pronounced dead on arrival.

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Her boyfriend, 19-year-old Lewis Pagett, was seriously injured in the smash, which happened at 8.25am on July 21.

Laura's sister Gemma, 18, described her as a "warm-hearted young lady".

"Laura's unique spirit and her loving nature are amongst the millions of traits we will miss," she said.

"Her loss has left a huge hole which will never be filled.

"It's hard to believe that we will never see her beaming smile or hear her bubbly voice again."

Laura, who lived in Great Haywood, got engaged to Lewis last Christmas.

She dreamed of having her wedding reception at the Moat House at Acton Trussell, where her school prom was staged.

Now her grieving family are planning to hold Laura's wake at the venue, following her funeral on August 13.

"We will hold our memories of Laura close to our hearts and treasure every moment we spent with her," said Gemma.

"Standing at only 5ft tall, size six and a size two shoe she was delicate and petite.

"Despite her fairy-like frame you were always aware of her presence.

"She had a lively and sparkling personality which lit up any room that she entered."

She added: "Laura was girly and loved experimenting with nail art and make-up and expressed this in her blog.

"She enjoyed going out with friends, who referred to her as Tinkerbell, and spending time with family."

Gemma said Laura "managed to pack a lot of experiences" into her short life.

"She was not only beautiful with a stunning personality to match, she was incredibly clever and completed A-levels in history, English and psychology whilst also working a part-time job," she added.

"She then went on to gain an apprenticeship as a teaching assistant to special needs children.

"Laura had hoped to continue to learn as she worked aspiring to be a teacher.

"After becoming engaged last Christmas, it appeared Laura was on track for the happily ever after life that she'd dreamed of."

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