THE family of a Westbury teenager who died in a car crash in the town have spoken of their sorrow.

Ben and Tracie Gumm’s 18-year-old daughter Bethany Michelle Ovenden-Gumm died in the smash on The Mead .

It comes 21 years after the couple grieved for her older sister, who suffered cot death.

Speaking to the Times, Tracie, 43, of The Avenue, Westbury, described Bethany as a ‘beautiful butterfly’ whose flamboyant personality and confidence could light up a whole room.

Paying tribute to Bethany, the family said: “What can we say about Bethany? All parents will say their children were amazing and beautiful, and that their loss is the hardest thing to ever have to face. But Beth was truly amazing, gorgeous and so talented.

“Our Beth had the most beautiful smile that lit up any room. She was the life and soul of the party, with a big heart and kind soul.

“Outgoing and caring, her amazing self-taught beauty and hair techniques were perfection and her eyebrows on point.

“She had the world in her hands. She was and will always be a free spirit. She had a way about her that touched so many hearts. Be it her smile, her laugh or just the way she was. She was honestly so perfect.

“She was so strong-minded, so powerful with her confidence and her bright colours will stay with us forever.

“She had a loudness about her and was just the sweetest thing. We couldn’t have had it any better. She lifted everyone’s mood when they were down, she just had that about her and we will always try and keep what she had.

“She has left a massive hole in our hearts. Life will never be the same without her in it.

“She was truly loved by all. Fly high, our beautiful butterfly.”

Bethany grew up in Westbury. She attended Westbury Infants and then Westbury Leigh School, followed by Kingdown School in Warminster and Brune Park School in Gosport. She then began a childcare course at Wiltshire College Trowbridge, which had been interrupted by the coronvirus pandemic.

She had worked at the Horse & Groom pub in Westbury and loved dancing, funky make up, social media and having a laugh with her family and friends.

She leaves mum Tracie, dad Ben and stepmother Dawny, who live in Gosport, and siblings Charlie, 27, Tom, 25, Camron, 20, Jessica Julie, 10, Imogen, Paige, Louis and Grace.

Tracie added: “Bethany was 100 per cent a flamboyant personality. Her confidence just shone and could light up a whole room. Like any teenager, she could have her little temper tantrums when she thought she was right but she never stayed angry for long. It was not in her nature.

“Her heart was in the right place and she would help anybody out. Her last message to me was ‘I love you’.

“She was excellent at maths and childcare and was planning to go back to college in September. She was looking for work.”

Tributes have poured in from the family, friends and neighbours. Three retired teachers, head Jan Ball, Ruth Robertson and Julie Mason, who taught Bethany at Westbury Infants, left a floral tribute and a message saying: “Treasured memories of you Bethany. See a star bright in the moonlight.”

Mrs Channon, who taught Bethany at Westbury Infants School, said: “I taught her in Reception. “She was a very kind and compassionate little girl with a heart of gold.

“This is a tragedy and a huge loss. It was shocking to hear the news and so sad for everyone in the Westbury community. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”

Debbie Grimsey, headteacher at Westbury Leigh Primary School, said: “We are very saddened to hear of the death of our ex-pupil, Beth Gumm whose life has been taken at a tragically young age.

“Beth was a pupil at Westbury Leigh CE primary school and those who knew her remember her fondly. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time, and with all of those involved.”

Dave Locke, head at Kingdown School in Warminster, said: “The whole school community has been shocked and saddened by the tragic events of Friday evening, leading to the death of one of our former students, Bethany Gumm.“Beth was a popular and kind student who always had the ability to make those around her smile, and we are all devastated by this sad news.

“The school will be offering support for those affected within our community, and our thoughts are now with her family and friends at this most distressing time.”

Wiltshire College principal Amanda Burnside said: “We are deeply shocked by this tragic accident and our thoughts are with Bethany’s family at this very sad time.”