MY ANGEL: Mother grieves daughter lost in crash
ALL Rochelle Thompson wanted to do was to make those around her happy and last Saturday she went on a road trip to surprise her parents with the news she'd earned her red P plates. Another step towards independence for a bright girl about to become an adult.
Tragically, she never got to deliver the news, her life cut short too soon in a three-car crash near her father's place at Nymboida.
"I'm absolutely broken," her mother Lara Johnson said.
"It's just not right, a parent should never have to bury a child.
"She had such a promising future ahead of her."
Ms Johnson described her daughter as gorgeous, kind hearted, witty, funny and extremely intelligent, and described a close bond with her.
"She would go out of her way to make sure her friends were happy and anyone could turn to her without being judged," she said.
"Yes she was 17, but still my baby."
Rochelle was in Year 11 at St Joseph's at Banora Point near the border and worked at the KFC at Chinderah. Her mother, who lives in Lismore, said Rochelle was working and studying hard and had just received her passport ready for travel.
The crash happened at about 8.30am when Rochelle's car is believed to have collided with two utilities before running down an embankment.
In emotional scenes, bystanders and emergency personnel worked tirelessly to save her life - to no avail, with police soon making the tragic phone call to her mother.
"Watching you grow was such a privilege and joy. Making plans for the future with you was incredible and now realising none of these plans are going to happen is heartbreaking," Ms Johnson posted in tribute on Facebook.
"You had the whole world in the palm of your hand, and with you, you are taking my heart."
Ms Johnson said Rochelle was a typical teenager who loved reading and spending time with animals and was on her way to being an amazing horse rider.
"She lit up a room, she was so loving of everyone. She just made everything better," she said.
"She was loved by anyone who met her."
Ms Johnson said that she was still shattered by the news, and had received help from organisations and a few close friends who had been great shoulders to cry on.
"My sister is coming up when the time comes, but at the moment it's just me," she said.
There were still many questions that remained unanswered Ms Johnson said, but in a touching tribute she said she would never forget the passion for life her daughter had.
"My days will forever be a little more darker because the sunshine and light you took with you everywhere is gone," she said.
"I love you my angel."