School bids farewell to crash trio

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IOL news nov 29 mondale mem done INLSA Leigh Anne Swail and Keenan Smith's family at the memorial service held at Mondale High. Photo: Patrick Louw

Cape Town - Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service on Wednesday for three Mitchells Plain matrics who died at the weekend.

Mondale High School pupils Kelly Ford, Leigh-Ann Swail and Keenan Smith, all 18, died in a car crash on Saturday. Ford and Smith died on the scene while Swail died at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Former Mondale pupil Nazan Klaasen, 20, survived the crash, which happened on the corner of Spine Road and Church Way in Strandfontein.

Earlier this week, the Cape Argus reported that shortly before 6am on Saturday, Ford phoned her mother to say she was on her way home from a night out on the town.

Minutes later, the Toyota Corolla Smith was driving collided with a Golden Arrow bus.

On Wednesday, classmates paid tribute to the three pupils at the service at the school, which was attended by family members, pupils and teachers, education officials and community members and leaders.

Principal Owen Bridgens told the Cape Argus that the death of the three had left a mark on the matric class and had made them reflect on their own lives.

“The teachers have also been very badly affected. To them the children are like their own children.” Counselling has been provided for pupils. Bridgens said the school’s matric ball would take place on Monday.

Teacher Sandy Williamson said the dance would be bittersweet for the matrics as the popular trio would not be there to share the moment with their peers.

Shortly after the incident, Ford’s mother, Patricia, said Ford and Swail were best friends and had been inseparable since Grade 8. She said Ford had lived for her 22-month-old son, Alex.

News of the crash spread like wildfire on social networks and more than 1 000 people assembled at the school to hold a candlelight vigil on Sunday.

Cape Argus

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