Prayers for Sophie - community rallies behind family after crash tragedy

FRIENDS, locals and even complete strangers have begun rallying around a grieving Armidale family who lost their baby girl in a tragic crash this week.

Simon Hayes and Finlay Doyle remain in a serious condition after Wednesday’s crash which claimed the life of their beloved two-month-old baby, Sophie.

Despite attempts to save her, the baby died at the scene. Ms Doyle, 20, is in an induced coma in the intensive care unit of Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital with head injures and a broken pelvis and wrist.

Her partner, 22-year-old Simon Hayes, suffered a broken neck and head injuries and remains in Armidale hospital after plans to transport him to Sydney were abandoned.

The tragic news has rocked the local community as the family come to terms with their unimaginable loss.

Kristie Bulic’s fiancé, Micheal Hayes, who was also in the crash along with his mother, have both been released from hospital. 

Yesterday she set up an account for donations to try to ease the burden on the family.

“Physically they are OK, but emotionally a wreck,” Miss Bulic told The Leader.

“You never imagine something like this is going to happen so close to home.”

Within hours the youcaring.com page had attracted dozens of donations as shocked residents posted messages of love and support for the family.

“We all feel a bit helpless at the moment,” Miss Bulic said.

“Hopefully we can make some part of what is happening a bit easier.”

Miss Bulic said she’s been overwhelmed with the response from people near and far.

“I didn’t expect it to take off as quickly as it did, there have been donations from people and I don’t even know who they are,” she said.

“There has been people making small donations to big donations.

“There have even been people who have asked if they can use their photo to put a donation box in their shop.”

Already friends have started preparing a barbecue, meals and slices for the grieving family who are maintaining a bedside vigil for the injured parents.

It’s expected to be a long and hard road to recovery  from their injuries for both Simon and Finlay  and, as yet, there are no plans for any memorial for Sophie.

Miss Bulic said any and each donation was very much appreciated and locals could help to spread the word by sharing the page.

To donate and help the family, log onto youcaring.com and search for “helping hand for Hayes”.

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