Published: 06:00, 08 April 2021
A councillor has paid for a bench to be installed in Milton Creek Country Park in memory of tragic teenager Ellie Paine.
The 16-year-old died after being struck by a car at traffic lights on the A2 at Snipeshill, Sittingbourne, on November 1.
Swale council’s Cllr James Hall contacted Ellie’s auntie and offered to use part of his member’s allowance to pay for the £500 bench.
It was unveiled on Saturday which coincided with the birthday of Ellie’s mother Jody.
Cllr Hall said: “After the tragic accident on the A2 I was made aware that her mum had a birthday on April 3.
“Her sister Sarah told me about a tree that been planted in her niece’s memory at the country park so I arranged with the park ranger Kris Staples to have a bench with her name inscribed on it. He was very happy to do this.”
Cllr Hall (Swale Independents Alliance, Murston) added: “Ellie’s mother had no idea of this. It was a complete surprise when she entered the park and was shown the bench. It was very emotional. She thanked me for this gesture which I hope brought some comfort to her.”
A tree has been planted a few metres from the bench.
Cllr Hall said: “When Ellie’s mum visits the spot she will always have a special place to go to remember her daughter.”
An inquest at County Hall, Maidstone, on February 2 heard how the 16-year-old Highsted Grammar School pupil was crossing Canterbury Road when she was struck by a car driven by a self-employed food delivery driver.
Ellie died in King’s College Hospital, London, on November 4.
Her family said: “Ellie was a sensible, mature, well-behaved and well-educated girl.
“She was a kind-hearted, caring and creative girl who had a zest for life. She had overcome anxiety and had learned to love herself. It was an inspirational and beautiful transformation. Ellie had everything to live for and was excited about her future.”
A GoFundMe page was set up by a family friend to raise money for six organisations in Ellie’s memory.
They were: King’s College Hospital; child bereavement charity Abigail’s Footsteps; the Rhys Daniels Trust; Memory Makers which creates hand and foot casts; 4Louis and The Aspinall Foundation which runs Howletts and Port Lympne wild animal parks which Ellie liked.