NSW crash victim loved 'to moon and back'

·3-min read

Teenager Lily Van De Putte, one of five teenagers killed in a horror crash in a small town, south of Sydney, has been remembered for her beautiful heart, kindness and sassy nature.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in the hamlet of Tahmoor for the 14-year-old's funeral.

Lily died with school friends Summer Williams, 14, Gabrielle McLennan, 15, and Antonio Desisto, 16, and Tyrese Bechard, 15, when the ute they were in crashed on September 6 in nearby Picton.

Lily's father, John Van De Putte, told mourners at St Anthony's Catholic Church his daughter was the light of his life and anyone who knew him knew how much Lily meant to him.

He spoke of Lily's kind nature, including her taking blankets from home to give to those less fortunate, giving food to the needy and even helping a little boy with no money on Father's Day to buy a gift for his dad.

Mr Van De Putte, who addressed mourners from a wheelchair, also recalled his daughter's wicked sense of humour, remembering when Lily putting his chair in neutral so he couldn't go anywhere.

He spoke of Lily's bond with her mum over art, remembering his great joy at watching them together on the back deck of their home.

"Not only was she beautiful, she had a beautiful heart," he said.

Lily's mother, Melanie Van De Putte, had to be physically supported as she choked back tears telling the service when Lily was born she became her entire world.

Mrs Van De Putte said she would give everything to have five minutes more with her daughter, or trade places with her.

"You are my world, my whole existence was meant to be yours," she said.

"I love you to the moon and back."

Lily's sister Brittany said the pair had so many memories together, spoke of her sassy nature, and thanked her sibling for the years they had together.

"You always had my back and I will always have yours," she said.

A memorial card handed to those in attendance read "Lily's beautiful spirit and soul will transcend time and the ray of light she shone each day will now shine down through the stars".

Lily's white coffin, covered in flowers, sat at the front of the church for the service and was carried out to the music of the R&B song Angel.

The farewell to Lily comes a day after the funeral of Tyrese Bechard in Picton.

The crash has devastated the community in the Wollondilly shire, southwest of Sydney.

All the victims attended Picton High School, where face-to-face learning has been replaced with online classes until Monday so students can attend the funerals.

The services of Gabrielle McLennan, Summer Williams and Antonio Desisto will follow in coming days.

The victims are being remembered with balloon and streamer tributes in the area, with a different colour dedicated to each teenager.

A mayoral relief fund has also been established to offer financial support to the victims' families.

The driver of the ute Tyrell Edwards, 18, is in custody after facing court last Thursday on five counts of dangerous driving occasioning death.

The tragedy has prompted renewed warnings from authorities for care on the road, and sparked calls for reform of laws around repeat driving offences.