Tributes were paid yesterday to a young family including “two beautiful princesses” who died in a horrific crash in the Highlands.
Gemma Cousin, 26, her husband Rhys, 25, and their daughters Peyton, three, and Heidi, one, were killed in a collision with another car on Thursday. The parents were described in a statement issued yesterday on behalf of their extended family as being “totally devoted” to their girls.
A campaign launched online yesterday to raise funds for the funeral reached its £5,000 target within hours.
A fundraising page, organised by Nikki Cartwright, included a heartbreaking video compilation of photographs of the young family and a touching tribute.
Nikki said: “On February 20, our family sadly lost Rhys, Gemma, Peyton and Heidi. A whole young family has been taken away from us.
“Just like any family they weren’t perfect but they still found perfection in every moment they spent together. A fun, crazy loving couple who adored each other so much. Two beautiful princesses completed their family and those girls were their world and brought light in every struggle they faced.
“They were loved by everyone who met them and will be sorely missed.”
The crash happened on the A82 at Torlundy, near Fort William, just after 5.30pm on Thursday.
The family was travelling northbound in a green Mini Cooper that was involved in a collision with a red Ford Fiesta. The 56-year-old woman driver of the Fiesta suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
A police investigation is ongoing and officers have appealed for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward.
A family statement released via police earlier yesterday said: “Both families are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Gemma, Rhys, Peyton and Heidi.
“They were a young family with so much to look forward to. To have their lives cut short so suddenly and in such circumstances is utterly devastating.
“As a young couple, Gemma and Rhys worked really hard to provide a loving, secure and safe home and family life for their girls who they were totally devoted to.
“They were known by many with both families being extended and their loss will be felt far and wide.
“Due to the horrific circumstances we would like to thank the emergency services and everyone who was involved on the night. We would also like to thank everyone for the support we continue to receive.
“As a family, we now respectfully ask that we are given the time and privacy to grieve and to come to terms with the loss.”