Hundreds celebrate Dana's life at funeral

HUNDREDS of mourners - wearing colourful clothing - turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of a young woman killed in a horrific Deeside car crash.

A celebration of Dana-Leigh Trigger's life was held in Banchory East Church on Monday (July 21), poignantly ending with the release into the sky of five doves and five balloons in her memory.

The 22-year-old dental nurse, known as Dana, was killed after her car left the Inchmarlo to Glassel road, collided with a tree and landed on its roof earlier this month.

Her father, David Trigger, told the Piper last week how Dana had swerved to avoid a deer in her path when the accident happened.

Along with Dana's family, scores of her friends - all dressed in bright clothing at the request of her family - filed into the church for the service, led by the Rev Mary Haddow.

Banchory driving instructor Mr Trigger, 54, said: "The funeral went really well, the Rev Mary Haddow was superb, and everything we had planned for the church service went as we had hoped. The church was full - absolutely packed - and to get the beautiful sunny day we did was a bonus.

"I made a speech during the service and went on to say how I'd learned to hug with the young people this week. Everybody then took a moment to hug the person next to them.

"I also spoke a bit about road safety and how you never know what to expect next on the roads, and how Dana's accident was an example of that. I also spoke of my memories of Dana's 22 years with us.

"We wanted to put on a funeral service that people would remember, without making it party-ish."

Although she still lived at home with her parents in Raemoir Avenue, Banchory, Dana spent much of her time at boyfriend Paul Montgomery's home in Glassel. The pair had been together for three years and had recently talked of marrying one day and setting up home together.

Some of Dana's favourite songs were played to mourners during the service.

"While people were sitting in the church, we had two songs playing on a loop - Joe Cocker's You Are So Beautiful To Me and Celine Dion's Fly," said Mr Trigger. "On a big screen, we had photos taken at different points in Dana's life and in the middle of the service, Paul and Dana's song was played - Jack Johnson's Better Together.

"Right at the end, when the service had finished, everybody sat in silence and we played I've Had The Time of My Life, which I said in my speech summed up Dana's 22 years."

As mourners gathered outside following the service, five doves were released by Dana's two sisters Nikki, 39, and Corrina, 37; brother Stephen, 32; best friend Emma Ogston; and boyfriend, Paul, 26.

Five golden star-shaped balloons were also sent into the sky - released by the family's five grandchildren.

Close family went on to Aberdeen Crematorium for the committal and met up again with mourners at the Burnett Arms Hotel in Banchory, where Dana had previously worked.

Almost 1,200 was collected at the funeral in aid of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital's neo-natal unit, where both Dana's niece Talia, who was born 10-weeks prematurely, and Dana's best friend Emma's son, Harry, were both cared for. "That's the fund Dana would've chosen herself," said Mr Trigger.

He went on: "It turned out to be a really special day - sadly in unfortunate circumstances."

Mr Trigger said he and wife Rhona, 62, had received more than 200 cards from wellwishers and more than a dozen bouquets of flowers.

Former Banchory Academy pupil Dana was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on July 9 after her silver Ford Fiesta left an area of the road which had undergone resurfacing work earlier in the day. It is not yet known whether this played any part in the accident.