Community leaders and councillors have spoken of their shock after four friends were killed in a tragic quad bike crash while celebrating the youngest victim’s 16th birthday.
Terrie Kirby died along with her three friends, Ryan Beal and Brandon Brown, both 20, and Alexandra Binns, 18, when their quad bike was hit from behind by a Nissan 350Z on the A6201 between Upton and Hemsworth at around 12.30am on Sunday.
Upton Methodist Church opened a book of condolences for each of the four victims on Tuesday.
Peter Finneran, church member, said: “There is a lot of hurt in the village and a lot of people are asking the question why and we felt that being the church at the centre of the village it was the right thing to do.
“We wanted people to come down and express their feelings. It is ever so difficult to express yourself when somebody dies but hopefully the books allowed people to do just that.”
Mr Finneran said the church wanted to support the families and friends of the crash victims.
He said: “The mood is very sombre and there is a lot of heartbreak.
“It is still extremely raw but we wanted to be a place for people to come and sit and think and remember. I think the main feeling is just shock that four young people have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances.”
Upton councillor Allan Garbutt said the crash had “rocked” the community in a similar way to the M62 hen party crash in April 2013 which killed South Elmsall teenager Bethany Jones and injured 21 others.
He said: “Everyone in the village is obviously very sombre and it’s all too similar to the M62 hen party crash. It’s just rocked the whole community. It is an absolutely tragic situation. Being someone who has lost a child I know better than most what the grief is like. I don’t think, as a parent, that you can ever get over losing a child.”
Coun Garbutt said people in the village and surrounding area had pulled together to support the grieving families and friends. He said: “It’s very much the case that everyone has come together. It is a tragedy beyond words that has left a dark cloud over the village.”