IN OUR HEARTS: Mount Tarampa teen Danielle Butterfield lost her life on her way to feeding her horse after being hit by a car.
IN OUR HEARTS: Mount Tarampa teen Danielle Butterfield lost her life on her way to feeding her horse after being hit by a car. Contributed

Mum's heartbreak after daughter killed riding to feed horses

TWELVE months have passed since 14-year-old Danielle Butterfield was hit by a car and killed on her way to feed her horses at Mount Tarampa.

And the news a man has now been charged over the girl's tragic death hasn't made the first anniversary any easier for her mum, Belinda.

"At this time of year, it makes no difference to every other day. It hurts," Mrs Butterfield said.

On October 8, 2018, 14-year-old Danielle was hit by a taxi, while riding her bike on her way to feed her horses at Mount Tarampa.

But last week, police announced a 57-year-old Raceview man had been charged over the incident, and was scheduled to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on October 31.

For Ms Butterfield, it has done little to ease the pain of her loss.

"It doesn't make me feel any different, because she's not here, and he's still got a long way to go, he's only just been charged," she said.

"Her older brothers feel a bit happier that he's been charged, but I don't understand how it makes any difference, because Danielle's gone."

The family originally moved to Mount Tarampa to support Danielle's stepfather, Chris Gibbons, who was undergoing cancer treatment at the time.

Sadly, Mr Gibbons lost his battle with the illness only four months after Danielle died.

"I lost my partner four months after Danielle, after two year's battle with cancer," Ms Butterfield said.

Ms Butterfield has since moved away from the area and is being supported by friends and family.

"We've just had a family weekend together. It was good, but it was pretty sad to have photos without Danielle," she said.

The family are still caring for the horses Danielle loved so dearly, doing their best to keep her dream, and memory, alive.

Danielle was an avid player of polocrosse, and the Bauhinia Club where she rode recently held a memorial event for her.

"Her oldest brother Bradley, who hasn't ridden in four years, rode on Danielle's horse, in Danielle's saddle, and rode for Danielle that weekend," Ms Butterfield said.

"He played another three carnivals, and then went and played for state championship, riding for Danielle."

She pleaded with drivers, especially parents, to take more care on the roads.

"You might hit an animal and think no more of it, but to lose a 14-year-old, it's pretty hard," she said.

"Not only did I lose my daughter, but I lost my best friend. Her and I used to do everything together."

October 8 marks the anniversary of Danielle's accident.

"Tomorrow I'm going around to her spot, where the community made a memorial for her," Ms Butterfield said.



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