Northern Ireland news

Aunt of schoolgirl (9) killed in road crash tells of family devastation at losing 'our wee angel'

Schoolgirl Patrycja Dzikielewska (9), was killed in a  crash in Hamiltonsbawn 

AN aunt of a nine-year-old schoolgirl killed in a road crash in Co Armagh has spoke of the family's devastation at losing "our wee angel".

Karolina Jankovska said her niece and god-daughter Patrycja Dzikielewska was "always smiling" as she described how she would "be in our hearts" forever.

The young girl, whose family are originally from southern Poland, died when her step grandfather's Peugeot 407 crashed on Hamiltonsbawn Road, near Armagh on February 25.

A Primary 6 pupil at Hardy Memorial Primary School in Richhill, she was due to turn 10 later this month.

The school's choir sang during the funeral Mass at Newry Cathedral.

Ms Jankovska said the family, including Patrycja's parents Monika and Darek and three-year-old brother Dominik, had been left devastated by her death.

"We are very sad because it was a huge loss, we lost our wee angel," she told Q Radio.

"She was always smiling and it is a tragedy for everyone, for us and for a lot of people who loved her very much."

Ms Jankovska said Patrycja's grieving parents were grateful for the support from the local community since their daughter's death. Over the weekend, collections were held for the family in Richhill, including at a local football match.

"Huge support with everything and that's people who were spending the days and whole time with Patrycja and us in the village, thank you so much that you were there," said Ms Jankovska.

She added that she had only recently returned to her native Poland after living in Northern Ireland for several years.

"I was sure that I would be back here, but I never expected it would these kind of circumstances," she said.

"But we all know that we have to be strong for Patrycja and Dominik we have to be strong for Dominik as well, she will always be in our hearts."

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