Mum shares emotional tribute to daughter, 15, who drowned after falling into river and being swept away

A GRIEVING mum has paid tribute to her daughter, who was swept away while wading in a river in Cardiff.

Nicola Williams, 15, drowned in August last year when Storm Ellen swelled the River Rhymney. And now her mum has shared a tribute to her lost daughter.

Mum-of-five Emma Williams said during an inquest: “Nikki was a lovely girl. I would describe her as lively, quirky. She would always put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Nicola wanted to feel how cold the water was so ventured into the river with her clothes on, one of her friends told police.

"She was saying something like ‘this is really strong’," the friend said. "She then got pulled and dragged with the water."

Pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbeatter confirmed that "accidental submersion" was the cause of death. The inquest was told there were areas of the river flowing fast, and that Nicola became trapped in undergrowth.

Emergency services found Nicola's body 20 metres from where she had entered the water. She was declared dead at 7.20pm despite paramedics best efforts to save her.

After the tragedy, a friend wrote: "Can’t believe what’s happened. I love you so much I will see you again soon."

Another said: "RIP beautiful. Will be missed by loads. We all love you and we always will. You were taken to soon. Heaven has gained another angel."

David Thomas, the headteacher of St Illtyd's Catholic High School where Nicola was a pupil, said: "Any school would be better for having Nicola in it and we were fortunate to have her as part of our community.

"Polite, respectful and hardworking, Nicola was also so full of fun, kindness and generosity to others."


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