The heartbroken parents of a 15-year-old girl killed when a Lamborghini veered onto the footpath in Adelaide have paid tribute to their “cherished first born”.
Sophia Naismith, 15, died when the luxury vehicle mounted the kerb and hit the teen and her best friend on the pavement at Glengowrie in the city’s southwest before crashing into a Chinese restaurant on Saturday night.
Sophia’s parents, Pia Vogrin and Luke Naimith, broke their silence on Monday afternoon, releasing a statement revealing their sorrow in the wake of the crash while paying tribute to their daughter.
"Nothing prepares you for times like this. Sophia was the centre of our universe. Our cherished first born," the statement, obtained by the ABC, said.
"Best friend to her sisters. Adored by her grandparents. Admired by her aunts, uncles and cousins. Good friend to many. Loved by all.
“Everything has changed... our lives will never be the same again”.
The parents detailed their daughter’s promising sports career, with Sophia hailed as a standout sportswoman for her exploits in volleyball, soccer and gymnastics.
They also thanked friends and family for the support they’ve received during “such as distressing time” as well as praising emergency services for their roles in responding to the crash.
They offered their support to Sophia’s friend, who was walking with her when they were hit by the luxury sports car, as she continues to recover in hospital.
Volleyball SA, who Sophia was selected to represent in a national schools competition, shared their condolences to the Naismith family late on Sunday night.
“It is with heartbreaking sadness that we offer our condolences to the Naismith family on the loss of Sophia,” they said on Facebook.
“As always we as a community mourn the loss of one of our own and offer our sincere support to her family in whatever way they need us.”
School mourns Sophia’s death
Sophia’s principal at Brighton Secondary School, Toni Carellas, said in a statement to Yahoo News Australia the school was grieving the loss of a stellar pupil.
“This is one of our saddest days as a school community and it will take us a long time to come to terms with what has happened,” she said.
“Sophia was a popular and vibrant member of our school who brought a huge amount of positive energy to everything she did. She was a gifted athlete and brilliant academically.”
Her 15-year-old best friend, who was also injured in the crash, took to Instagram from hospital on Monday morning paying tribute to her “strong and beautiful” schoolmate.
“Every single piece of my heart goes out to this strong, beautiful girl,” she wrote.
“I will love you forever and always. Words cannot describe how much I want to change what has happened.”
Dozens of school friends have since taken to social media to pay their respects to Sophia as well as supporting the best friend.
Counsellors are also providing support for students and staff, Ms Carellas confirmed.
The 37-year-old driver allegedly behind the wheel of the Lamborghini has been charged with driving dangerously causing death and injury.
He will appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court on July 31.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.