Mother pays tribute to daughter killed in Leigh Park car crash

TRIBUTES Flowers and a teddy at the crash site. Inset, Payton Sparks
TRIBUTES Flowers and a teddy at the crash site. Inset, Payton Sparks
The M275 northbound. Credit: Google Maps

Lane closed after crash on M275

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THE mother of a teenage girl killed in a tragic car accident said she wouldn’t be able to cope if it were not for the community.

Lisa Garner, 35, lost her 16-year-old daughter Payton Sparks – known as Poppy – just over a week ago when she was a passenger in a car that crashed in Petersfield Road, Leigh Park.

Both Poppy and her mum grew up on the estate and Miss Garner said, if it wasn’t for the people there, she does not know where she’d be.

Poppy’s grandmother Jeanette Waterhouse, 54, said: ‘Lisa has asked me say thank you to everyone from Leigh Park.

‘The estate sometimes does not get a good press but when things like this happen the whole community stands together.

‘The community have supported her so much.’

Mrs Waterhouse is supporting Lisa, of Botley Drive, and said her daughter and granddaughter were ‘best friends’.

She said: ‘Poppy was a fun-loving girl.

‘Everyone loved her and she had so many friends – she was just like her mum.

‘We can’t believe how many friends she had.

‘She had such a fun sense of humour.

‘From the moment she was born she was beautiful.

‘She had jet black hair and I said immediately “she looks like a poppy” and I never called her anything else but that.

‘She was so pretty, a real girly girl.’

The family have been unable to make plans for the funeral because police have not released Payton’s body while they investigate the incident.

Mrs Waterhouse said: ‘Lisa is not doing too well.

‘They were like best friends. They did everything together.

‘But she has her family around her, her friends and the community in Leigh Park.’

Floral tributes have been laid at the scene of the crash and friends have left hundreds of messages of condolence on social networking sites.

A Facebook page called RIP Payton-Lee Poppy Sparks has been set up for people to leave messages.

A huge music fan, Payton was one of two sisters and had attended Crookhorn College of Technology.

Three teenagers were in the Vauxhall Tigra which struck a building, part of Staunton Country Park premises, at 10.42pm on Saturday, May 25.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw a green Vauxhall Tigra being driven around Leigh Park from 10pm onwards on May 25. Call police on 101.


THE driver of the car and the other passenger are continuing to recover in hospital, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

The driver, a 19-year-old man from Hayling Island, suffered serious injuries and is in intensive care at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

A 14-year-old boy, from Havant, who was travelling in the back, sustained serious leg and head injuries and is being treated at Southampton General Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Police confirmed that both of them are expected to recover.