Singing for Jessica – family’s moving invite

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The family of a Queenstown teen car crash victim is hosting a tribute day one year on. 

The Law family want those who knew their daughter and sibling Jessica – a talented up-and-coming singer-songwriter – to join them for an afternoon of music and memories on New Year’s Day. 

They’re hosting the event at their home on Saturday – a year to the day after the 16-year-old’s death. 

Mother Kaye Law says families who may also be living with the loss of a loved one are welcome. 

“It doesn’t have to be just people who are friends. 

“It might be a grieving family who lost a child. It’s a terrible club to be in. Those people might want to come too – even though they might not have known Jess. 

“Some might come for 10 minutes or two to three hours and help throughout the day.” 

Kaye urges people to register and try to stagger visits so as not to overwhelm facilities. A sound system will be set up with a picnic area. 

Jessica was a backseat passenger in a car driven by her friend Josephine Clay, also 16 at the time. Clay, on her learner’s licence, lost control at 125kmh along Littles Road, near Arthurs Point. She was later convicted on charges of dangerous driving causing death and injury, and sentenced to 650 hours of community service. 

Fellow passenger Jesse Boulay, driving prior to Clay taking the wheel, suffered severe brain injuries. 

Jesse’s mother Karen, in a statement, says her son – now 17 – has made “astounding progress in the past few months” and soon returns to a Dunedin rehab centre for reassessment. 

“We are very positive about 2011,” Karen says, thanking medical staff plus friends and the community. 

“Your unwavering support and caring thoughts, even though there was nothing you or we could do to help Jesse, have meant so much.”