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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 20:10 GMT 21:10 UK
Service after rollercoaster death
Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams had recently celebrated her 16th birthday

A special service for a 16-year-old girl who died on a theme park ride has taken place at her school.

Hayley Williams, 16, died last Thursday after falling 100ft from the Hydro ride at the Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, west Wales.

Candles were lit in her memory during the service at St Alban's Roman Catholic School in Pontypool.

She was a talented musician and a recording of her singing a song written for her GCSE music was played.

Throughout the service - which took place on the first day of school after the Easter break - her photograph was projected onto a screen.

Head teacher Michael Coady said staff and pupils at the school had wanted to mark the tragedy.

"We wanted to pray to pay tribute to Hayley," he said.

"And we wanted to pray so that we would have comfort for ourselves - for the year group, for Hayley's friends and for Hayley's family, her parents, sister and her brother."

A book of condolence has been opened at the school, and will be handed to Hayley's parents on Tuesday.

A permanent memorial in the school grounds could also be set up.

Police at Oakwood
Police interview visitors leaving Oakwood on Thursday

On Sunday, prayers were said for Hayley at Merchant's Hill Baptist Church in Pontypool.

She was baptised at the church last year and was a Sunday school teacher there.

The teenager - a talented musician from Pontypool - had been with her mother Beverley and younger sister Hannah, 13, on holiday at the family's caravan in Pembrokeshire.

She was airlifted to hospital after falling from the ride but later died at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest.

Friends and neighbours have described her as a "beautiful and talented girl".

A joint investigation is currently being carried out by the police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Fifty police officers have been drafted onto the investigation and are contacting holidaymakers from across the UK who were at the park last Thursday.

The Hydro ride stands 121ft tall and consists of a 24-seater boat which drops down a near-vertical chute into a plunge pool at 50 mph.

Anyone with information about the tragedy is urged to contact Pembroke Dock Police Station on 01646 682121.

Tributes to 'talented' Hayley
16 Apr 04  |  Wales

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