The devastated father of a teenager killed in a head-on road smash has told of his heartache at losing the “perfect daughter”.
Lucy Duggan was killed instantly when the car she was in, driven by a friend, collided with another vehicle.
The smash, in Northumberland, left 18-year-old Lucy dead and two other friends who had been in the Ford Focus injured, while a woman and her teenage daughter, who had been in the other vehicle are both still in hospital.
Last night police were continuing to question Lucy’s 21-year-old male friend, who had been behind the wheel.
And now Lucy’s dad, Ralph, has opened his heart to The Journal about the loss.
The 57-year-old said: “Lucy really was a perfect daughter. She was very outgoing but she never gave us any trouble and was always happy. This is every parent’s worst nightmare, you never think you will bury your child. Lucy was the strong one in the family and was always supporting us.”
Lucy, who lived with her dad, mum Barbara, 49 and brother Jack, 21, in Wall, near Hexham, was killed in the incident on Sunday evening.
From an early age she had wanted to work with children and had recently started her dream career at Little Tinklers nursery, in Corbridge.
The former Queen Elizabeth’s High School pupil was also still elated after returning from her first girl’s holiday in Malia.
“She had just left school, got a job and got a car,” said Ralph, who works as a farrier.
“Her life was really taking off. She was really happy.
“Ever since she was a baby all she wanted to do was look after children. She was working at the nursery every day and she was loving it.
“It was her dream and we are so pleased she was able to fulfil it before she died.
On Sunday evening Lucy’s mum had dropped her daughter off at a friend’s house in Hexham before she and Ralph went to a party.
It is thought the pals had been on their way to Corbridge for a night out when the crash happened, on the A695 at Dilston, at just after 7pm.
Lucy was pronounced dead at the scene, while two of her friends who were also passengers in the white Focus were taken to hospital.
Sheila Miller, who is in her 40s, and her 16-year-old daughter Sarah, were in the other car, a Suzuki.
The mum and teenager were airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where they are still being treated for serious injuries.
Ralph and Barbara received the devastating news of their daughter’s death after two police family liaison officers turned up at the party they had been enjoying.
“The police came and found us,” Ralph continued. “They didn’t say what it was, they just said ‘can you come with us’. I just knew straight away that something must have happened to one of our children.”
Lucy’s colleagues at Little Tinklers have also paid tribute to their bubbly pal.
Speaking on behalf of staff at the nursery, team leader, Claire Adamson, said: “She was always smiling and always happy. She loved her job and the children loved her. She was a beautiful person. She will never be forgotten.”
Police say investigations into the crash are continuing.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are continuing to investigate a crash which happened on the A695 at Dilston, near Hexham, Northumberland at 7.09pm on Sunday.
“Anyone who witnessed the collision or who has any information relevant to the police enquiry is asked to call police.”
Call Northumbria Police on 101.