A STRIKING procession of pink followed the coffin of car crash victim Robert Tepper as hundreds of mourners braved wind and rain for his funeral yesterday.
Dozens of the 17-year-old’s friends, who had attended Mexborough School with him, wore pink jumpers rather than the more usual black as they walked behind the hearse which carried his coffin to windswept St John the Baptist Church.
An estimated 300 people attended the church service, and the building was so full that some had to stand in the porch and outside in the rain for the 20-minute service.
Robert, an apprentice plumber, was one of three teenagers to die in a car crash at the junction of Adwick Road and Crow Tree Lane on the Monday after Christmas.
He was in a Vauxhall Corsa containing four young people which collided head-on with a Volkswagen Golf at around 8pm on December 27.
Robert’s girlfriend, Lauren Birkett, aged 16, was one of the other fatalities, along with Jonathan Scott, aged 17.
A huge queue built up outside the church as mourners waited for the cortege to arrive.
After the hearse there was only one funeral car containing Robert’s immediate family and that was followed by the procession of young people sporting pink.
Some girls had even dyed their hair pink - Robert’s favourite colour.
The Vicar of Mexborough, Father David Wise, greeted Robert’s parents and led them into the church. It was 10 minutes before the service could begin because of the number of mourners filling the pews and the dozens taking up standing room.
Fr Wise said Robert’s parents, Steven and Tracey, and his siblings, Lauren, Danny, and Charlotte, had suffered “a very bitter blow”.
After one hymn, prayers, and a tribute from the vicar, the congregation filed out of church, many still weeping, and made their way to the cemetery for Robert’s burial and then on to the wake at Mexborough Athletic Club.
The funerals of the other victims of the crash are due to take place later this week.
An inquest into their deaths has been adjourned for a full police investigation.
The only survivor, Chloe Newby, aged 16, suffered serious injuries in the collision and is now in a stable condition in hospital.