Father pays tribute to ‘star’ girls killed in road crash

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Two sisters who were killed in a car crash while on an adventure holiday of a lifetime in Morocco were today described as the “brightest of stars” at their funeral.

Tara Darlington, 23, and her sister Pippa, 21, were remembered by their loved ones at a service held at All Saints’ Church in their home town of Whiteparish, near Salisbury in Wiltshire.

The “beautiful” sisters died last month in a road accident near the city of Rabat as they were both due to enter their final year of study at their respective universities.

Their father Patrick, 62, said his daughters had “made the world a better place to be in”.

Mr Darlington and his wife Emma, 52, arrived at the church near their home on foot. The girls also leave a 15-year-old brother, Oscar, who was supported by friends during the service.

Hundreds of people packed into the church to hear a number of moving tributes.

Mr Darlington said: “Our darlings, who would ever have thought that you would not return from Africa, that we would be mourning your loss and looking back at the wonderful girls that you were, rather than looking forwards, at all the possibilities that were opening up for you?

“Mummy and I are so very sorry. We have been cheated. It seems so unfair. We loved you so much.

“Each of you were the brightest of stars – burnt out in your prime.”

During the service seven readings were given by friends and the girls’ godparents.

The Rev Nils Bersweden gave the address and there was music including the songs All You Need is Love by the Beatles, Driving Along In My Automobile by Chuck Berry and Elgar’s Salut d’Amour performed on the cello by the girls’ friend Angus Reid.

Mr Darlington, a former wine merchant and director of the Yellow Bike Company, said his family would mourn the loss of the girls for the rest of their lives.

He described Tara as “buzzing with energy, joy, fun and new ideas”.

His younger daughter, Pippa, was “soft, kind, beautiful, sensitive, loyal and incredibly loving”.

“Pippa loved to travel, meet different people and learn their ways,” Mr Darlington added.

He ended the tribute saying his daughters would have been “amazed” by how many people had attended the service. “It is clear that they touched many,” he said. “We were very lucky to have two such golden girls.”

The two wooden coffins adorned with flowers were carried from the church by their friends before they were placed into a hearse side by side.

The sisters were driving home on September 17 with their friend Joshua Stump, 21, from Salisbury, who was seriously injured in the crash.

Tara was studying media, journalism and sociology at Goldsmiths University in south east London, while her younger sister studied law at Newcastle University.

Their rented car collided with another vehicle on the same road where Tara’s godfather, David Windmill, said there had been 25 other deaths in the two previous weeks.