A caring community is rallying around to support two teenage girls following the sudden death of their elder sister in a car crash.
Natalie Marshall, who had recently become the legal guardian of Corrina-Mae, 17, and 14-year-old Shannon, died tragically last week.
They lived together in St Helen Auckland, near Bishop Auckland, and now friends are clubbing together to support the family.
Natalie, who worked in sales at EE in Bishop Auckland, was fatally injured and her passenger, a 21-year-old man, was badly hurt at 3.15am on Friday, June 17.
Her Mercedes C Class left the road and collided with a tree on the A167 near Coatham Mundeville, on the outskirts of Darlington.
Close family friend Shannon Murray, 25, from Crook, has started an online fundraiser to help provide for Natalie’s sisters, and is helping look after them.
She said: “Shannon and Corrina were Natalie’s world and she fought so hard to make sure both girls had a good life.
“She put them kids before herself and she would make sure they were ok.
“She grafted her backside off to make sure they had everything they wanted at Christmas and for birthdays.
“She had been waiting for years to have guardianship. She had just finally got it and now we have tragically lost her.”
Natalie’s older sister, Chloe Coleman, who has two young children of her own, has taken over the legal guardianship of the girls and Shannon is helping to look after them.
The online fundraiser has already raised over £2,000.
She added: “We are looking to make sure the girls are ok and don’t have to have any worries going forward.
“All money will be put into a bank account to get essentials and help out with uniforms, food, social activities, holidays and everything Natalie would have done for them if she were here.
“We just want to make sure they are secure because we know Natalie would do it for us.”
Natalie was well known in the area and her death has stunned the community, with businesses including the Eden Arms in St Helen Auckland collecting money to support the family.
Shannon said her friends and loved ones are still ‘numb’ and are unable to process what has happened.
Shannon said: “She was the one with the big personality out of all of us.
“She was the life and soul of everyone’s party. What has happened has shocked all of us.
“Natalie was very well known and very well liked around Bishop and West Auckland, and the reaction has been overwhelming.
“She was very social and would always be doing daft little radge things.
“She was amazing and always lived every day as if it was her last.
“Her death has left a very big hole in everyone’s hearts.
“Everyone has always said: ‘There is only one Natalie Marshall’.”
Read more: Tributes to woman who died in A167 crash
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