A talented teenager killed in a tragic car crash was excited to be driving to a new family home for the first time when she died, her brother said.
Mia Craen, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene after her Fiat 500 collided with a tree in Southwater, West Sussex on Saturday.
Her family paid tribute in a moving statement released earlier this week, describing her as a “bright, shining star” and listing her many sporting achievements.
A fundraiser organised to collect money for a send-off has already topped £12,000, smashing its target of £1,500 within days.
The page has been launched by Mia’s brother Finlay, who said his sister had been travelling to their new house when tragedy struck at around 12:30pm.
Posting online, he said: “Mia was on the way to visit our new house in Southwater for the first time, that we were in the process of moving to.
“She was really excited and couldn’t wait to get settled in but sadly she never made it there.
“The last time I saw Mia approximately 5 minutes before this occurred she was smiling as always and making a real difference to the world as always.
“As her brother, I want her to be remembered for what a kind and caring girl she was and the difference she made to the community and I would like to use the money raised to give Mia the send-off she deserves.”
Finlay added that McDonald’s worker Mia, from Horsham, had passed her driving test in September and had a “real love” for getting behind the wheel.
Mum Michelle also paid tribute to her daughter in a statement released by Sussex Police on Monday.
She said: “Mia was a bright, shining star. Everyone who met her, even if they didn’t know her, loved her.
“She was constantly smiling, always positive and brought peace to everyone.
“She had an amazing zest for life and never had a bad word to say about anyone. She was truly unique.
“We have been amazed by the amount of people who have contacted us about Mia.
“We want to thank them all for their lovely words. We haven’t been able to thank everyone.
“We’d also like to say thank you to the flowers, cards and offers of food, and to our church, Latitude, for their support and organisation of meals.
“Mia worked part time at McDonald’s, at Buck Barn. She was due to start her apprenticeship at Eurovia [on 1 February] which she was very excited about.
“Mia was born in Poole, Dorset, but she spent most of her life in Horsham.
“She was a goalkeeper at Horsham Hockey Club and was destined for great things – she won player of the season twice, despite only playing for them for two seasons. She also played for Sussex.
“Mia was also part of Horsham Triathlon Club, Atlantis Swimming Club and played for Sparrows Football Club when she was aged six to eight.
“She was a brilliant runner and enjoyed cycling.
“Mia went to Greenway Academy, Millais and Collyer’s, and also played football for Millais School.
“Her aspirations were to try her best, and to do everything with boundless optimism and positivity.
“Mia leaves behind myself, her dad Peter, and siblings Finlay and Jude. She has family all over the world.
“Mia’s zest for life makes me think I should get a band with ‘what would Mia do’ (WWMD), as she grabbed life with both hands.
“She never did anything half-heartedly. We know that getting used to Mia not being around is going to be hard.”
Sussex Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to determine what happened on the B2237 Worthing Road.
A force spokesperson said: “Anyone who saw a white Fiat 500 travelling in the area immediately before the collision – or anyone who captured what happened on dash cam – is asked to email [email protected], quoting Operation Sunningdale.”