EVERY step they made was with pride and a tribute to a young girl who brought a smile to people’s faces.
Family, friends and former work colleagues of Katie Haines walked from Langstone to Hayling funfair as a poignant tribute to the 18-year-old whose life was cut short in a tragic car crash.
Many of them wore pink as this was Katie’s favourite colour.
The walk raised money for the charity Headway and Monkey World in Dorset, where a chimpanzee, Thelma, has been adopted in memory of Katie.
It’s now more than a year since Katie lost control of her Ford Ka and hit a barrier just off junction 12 of the M27. Her family are seeking answers to solve the mystery of how she died and that vital information looks set to be revealed at an inquest in Portsmouth later this week.
Katie’s mum Sally Haines, 50, of Partridge Gardens, Wecock, who dressed as a fairy for the walk, said: ‘We wanted to raise money for Headway because Katie died of head injuries.
‘If she had survived she would have needed specialist equipment.
‘And Monkey World was dear to her heart.
‘She’s loved monkeys since she was little. Two weeks before she died we all went down there as a family.
‘We picked up a form to adopt a monkey, but she never got round to it.’
Thelma was adopted the day after Katie’s funeral in September last year.
Katie’s grandmother Annette Freestone, 74, from Virginia Park Road, Gosport, who had a picture of Katie pinned to her jumper, said: ‘She was so caring.
‘It’s still hard to come to terms with it.
‘Hopefully we will have some answers. We will never get over it – I don’t think you ever do.’
Katie’s aunt Dot Manning, 56, of Maylands Road, Bedhampton, dressed as Spiderman for the walk.
She said: ‘Sally said dress up. I had a Spiderman outfit, so thought I would wear it.’
The walk started from Cherry Park Nursery, where Katie used to work in the pre-school.
Former colleague Jade Shaltz, 25, of Ibsley Grove, Bedhampton, said: ‘She was quiet when she first started, but she had a really caring side.
‘The children all adored her. She had a good sense of humour.’
Although Katie had experience of driving on motorways while she was learning, Mrs Haines would like to work with the police to make it compulsory for all new drivers to have motorway experience.