Teen killed on the way to feed horse
THE family of a teen killed after she was struck by a maxi taxi have told of their heartbreak, as they continue to rally around her stepfather who has cancer.
Danielle Butterfield, who died last Monday afternoon after she was hit by a taxi at Mount Tarampa on her way to feed her horse, has been remembered as a “shining star”.
Her grief-stricken family told The Courier-mail the beloved 14-year-old had died “going to do what she loved” — caring for her 12-month-old colt Frankie, who she was training in the hope of trying out for the polocrosse nationals in 2020.
It is just a kilometre ride between the Butterfield family home and the horse paddock Danielle visited daily. She was struck by a passing maxi taxi just moments from the farm gate.
“She was nearly there,” her mother Belinda Butterfield said.
The driver of the taxi, a 56-year-old Raceview man, is co-operating with police.
The forensic crash unit is still investigating.
Ms Butterfield said she, Danielle’s stepfather Chris Gibbons and Danielle’s three older siblings are at a loss to understand how their “fearless” girl could be gone.
“It’s hard to get your head around,” she said.
“One minute she was home from her first day back at school, happy, joking. She said ‘I’ll see you in 10’ and jumped on her pushbike and that was the end, neither of us got to ask her how her first day back after school holidays was.”
Residents have left flowers and cards at “her spot” to remember the well-known, and much loved teen who would wave to everyone with a big cheeky smile as she went to visit her horses.
The tragedy comes as the family struggles to deal with Mr Gibbons’ fight against lymphoma cancer. Doctors have given him a 20 per cent survival chance.
“She was my strength to help me through looking after Chris,” Ms Butterfield said.
Police confirmed on Wednesday Danielle had succumbed to her critical head injuries in Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
A Gofund Me page has been set up to help Danielle’s family.
HAPPIER TIMES: Danielle Butterfield with her parents.