Girl dies as friend crashes parents' car

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A school was in mourning yesterday after a 15-year-old girl was killed when her best friend crashed her parents' car while joyriding.

Camilla Hamilton, from Chelmsford, Essex, died instantly when her friend, also aged 15, lost control of the Mercedes and crashed it into a tree. The accident took place on a bend less than a mile from the home of Camilla's friend, who has not been named by police. Camilla was declared dead at the scene, but her friend escaped serious injury and was arrested by police.

The pair, who were in the same boarding house at Felsted School in Essex, had decided to take the two-ton car, belonging to Camilla's friend's parents.

The 15-year-old girl, who was released on police bail until 23 July, has been comforted by family and schoolfriends while receiving professional counselling to help her come to terms with the incident.

Her father said: "It is the most hideous and ghastly thing that has ever happened or could happen. It has been a devastating thing.

"It was a tragic accident and we really feel for the deceased and her family."

Flowers were laid at the site of the accident yesterday, while her friends paid tribute to Camilla, who was a scholarship pupil, at a candle-lit shrine in her school church.

One of many notes left by a friend of Camilla's read: "You were an inspiration to our school and you will not be forgotten and you will remain in our hearts."