Young Bethany Smyth (3) who died along with her mother Claire Smyth in a tragic accident on the Whitepark Road in Ballycastle on Tuesday , has been described by her dance teacher as a ‘fun loving kind little girl’.
Both Bethany and her sister Hannah were members of local dance group, the ‘Kelly Neill Dance Company’.
Hannah was also involved and seriously injured in the accident, and was flow by helicopter to Belfast Royal hospital for emergency treatment.
Speaking on Friday, the two girls dance teacher paid tribute on the dance company’s Facebook page:
“It breaks our heart to have heard the sad news of the tragic accident involving two of our young dancers. Resulting in the death of one of our tiny dancers and her beautiful mummy.
“She was a fun loving kind little girl who loved her dancing and always had a smile on her face. Sleep tight little tiny dancer.
“We pray that her big sister stays strong and pulls through. We love you very much We as a dance company give our deepest sympathy, love and prayers to the family at this time.”
Hannah remains in a serious condition in hospital with her dad Ryan by her side. But the family minister, Rev Stanbridge, provided some hope in the past couple of days for Hannah’s recovery, describing Hannah’s progress as ‘small but significant’.
“I am pleased to report, that while these are very, very early days, Hannah is making small but significant steps in the right direction, which is good news.
“The family have been astounded by the love and support that they have received from so many different quarters and the wealth of prayer across the Christian churches that is being prayed, which they are so thankful for.
“Ryan has asked me to encourage people to continue to pray and thank the wider farming community for coming together in different ways to support them at this time.”
In conclusion Rev Stanbridge said: “The family is also painfully aware that it is not only their family who have been affected by this tragic and freak accident. They have asked that people pray for everyone involved.”