Tributes for Abbey Stephen

Tragedy: An array of flowers and candles have been left at the scene as tribute to Abbey Stephen. Photo: Scott Calvin.
Tragedy: An array of flowers and candles have been left at the scene as tribute to Abbey Stephen. Photo: Scott Calvin.

Tributes have flowed for nineteen-year-old Abbey Stephen of Old Bar who died following a head-on collision between two vehicles on Old Bar Road on Tuesday, January 30. 

About 7.20pm Ms Stephen was travelling east on Old Bar Road in a Mazda 2, returning home from league tag training with the Taree City Bulls. 

At the same time, 40-year-old Carly Smith was travelling west in a Ford Falcon.

It is alleged by police that Ms Smith lost control of her vehicle, veered onto the wrong side of the road and the impact of the two-car collision caused Ms Stephen’s car to flip.

 As a result of the crash, Ms Smith was ejected from the vehicle and was found lying injured in nearby bushes.

Ms Stephen was trapped inside the vehicle until rescue officers arrived and was later transported to John Hunter Hospital by helicopter in a critical condition and later died.

Ms Smith was also transported to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but not life threatening condition.

She suffered hip, ankle and rib injuries and underwent mandatory blood and alcohol tests.

Manning-Great Lakes police are calling for any witnesses to come forward and that includes anyone who saw or spoke to the driver of a blue Ford Falcon which hit a pole in a supermarket car park on Old Bar Road earlier in the day.

The crash investigation team is continuing with their inquiries and anyone with information is urged to contact Taree Police Station on 6552 0399.

Friends and family have visited the site to place flowers and tributes.

Among the flowers were sprinkles of purple glitter, handmade candles and notes that all give a sense of what has been lost.

Cuddlepie Early Childhood Learning Centre in Wingham where she worked, left a sign that read “Forever in our Hearts”.

 Another message reads, “Rest in Peace beautiful Abbey. Your gorgeous smile will always be remembered.”

The learning centre paid tribute on Facebook, saying they can’t put into words the feelings of sadness and grief felt within the Cuddlepie community.

“Your smile, your giggle, your presence will be sorely missed, you touched so many families whose children completely adored you.”

Abbey had completed a traineeship and gained a fulltime position. 

“You literally signed up to complete your diploma on this day.”

Many have also taken to social media to pay tribute to Ms Stephen.

“A beautiful young life stolen – our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” wrote Rowena Wheeler.

“Strongly missed by so many RIP beautiful angel thoughts and condolences and prayers to her family,” wrote Michelle Gaye. 

“Another life lost on our roads. Prayers to the young teenager, family and friends,” wrote Peter James Evans.

“Nothing short of heartbreaking for her family and friends,” wrote Tracy-Ann Cerff.

Tributes to Abbey Stephen placed at the site on Old Bar Road that claimed her life this week tell of a young and much-loved person.