Parents ‘devastated’ after girl, 17, found dead in car in hospital grounds

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A teenager found dead in a car in the grounds of a hospital after apparently being driven from a crash scene was a bright young girl with her whole life ahead of her, her devastated parents have said.

Four men have been questioned about the death of Tara Wright, 17, who was found dead in the vehicle at Belfast City Hospital in the early hours of Sunday.

A family statement said: “As parents we are devastated by the heartbreaking passing of our beautiful daughter Tara.

“Tara was a kind, funny, charismatic bright young girl with her whole life ahead of her and we can’t believe that we now have to say goodbye to her.

“Tara will be remembered as she lived, a fun-loving, energetic and vibrant soul with a zest for life that could bring joy to all around her.

“Tara will be missed immeasurably not only by us, but her entire family, especially her brothers and sister Charles, Alistair and Anna, who will never forget the love they had for her and the love she had for them.”

Outlining further details of their investigation on Monday, police revealed that four men – aged 20, 21, 28 and 30 – were arrested on Sunday in connection with the incident.

They were subsequently bailed pending further police inquiries.

Police believe Tara was injured in a single-car crash involving a silver Mercedes on the Ballygowan Road in Castlereagh on the outskirts of Belfast in the early hours of Sunday, around eight miles from the hospital.

Another man was injured in the collision, which was reported to police at around 2.30am.

Less than half an hour later, at 2.55am, the teenager was found dead inside a grey-coloured MG car in the hospital grounds.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Inspector Nigel Henry said: “Firstly, I would like to extend my sympathies to the family of Tara at this very sad time.

“Our investigation is at an early stage, however we do believe that Tara was injured during the one-vehicle road traffic collision on the Ballygowan Road.

“We are appealing to anyone who witnessed either the silver Mercedes or grey MG to contact us to assist us with our inquiries.

“We also believe that a grey-coloured MG vehicle conveyed Tara to the area of Belfast City Hospital, therefore we are also appealing to anyone who witnessed this vehicle between the Ballygowan Road and the hospital to contact police.

“Investigating officers arrested four males aged 20, 21, 28 and 30 yesterday.

“They have since been released on bail and are assisting us with establishing the circumstances leading to Tara’s death.”

Police have urged anyone with information to come forward.

Mr Henry added: “I would also urge anyone who may have dash-cam footage of either vehicle taken in the early hours of Sunday morning to contact us.”

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