Tragic death of Harpenden student in USA

TRIBUTES have flooded in for a former Harpenden student who was tragically killed on her year abroad studying in Charleston, USA.

Hannah-Rose Elledge, of Harpenden, a former pupil of St George’s in Sun Lane, was hit by a car while crossing the road with a friend on Sunday, November 18.

The 21 year old has been described as a “beautiful girl inside and out” on a Facebook remembrance page with students both here and in America paying their respects.

Her grandfather Gordon Leadbeater speaking on behalf of the family said: “We have been comforted to know that she was held in such high esteem by the heartfelt response of so many of her friends.

“It is immensely sad that a young and talented life should end so soon, but we look back with pride at her commitment, her energy and her real achievement.”

He added that she showed “talent and commitment” early on, travelling around the world on a gap year before she attended Nottingham University to study Politics and American Studies.

During her year travelling Hannah visited many countries, including Australia and India, and saw the Taj Mahal as well as finding time for sky-diving in New Zealand.

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After completing the first two years of her course she achieved sufficiently high marks to enable her to spend the third year of her four year course in the United States.

Mr Leadbeater said: “Just 21 in her first weeks there, she enjoyed the course and the friendship of her many fellow American students. Hannah was much loved.”

He added: “For her the world was an opportunity to fully embrace: she successfully followed her chosen path and for that we must always be grateful.”

Jon Day, head of Goddard House, Hannah’s former house at St George’s School, said: “Hannah was known by staff at the school for her cheerful manner and positive outlook on life; she was a girl who rarely stopped smiling.

“She was a delightful pupil who made excellent progress during her time with us and she was selected as a prefect during her sixth form years.

“Hannah was a popular girl who had many friends and staff have been shocked to hear of her tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this very sad time.”

A spokesperson from the College of Charleston said around 150 students attended a memorial service held for Hannah on the first day back after the Thanksgiving holiday break.

They said: “Hannah had an amazing impact on the College of Charleston community in her few short months and both men and women stated that she changed their lives forever.

“One young man, the student leader of the Young Democrats, said he thought he loved President Obama more than anyone but Hannah proved him wrong because her love, hard work and dedication to the campaign was unsurpassed.

“She was, as she told many, “living her dream” of being able to work for the election of our American President.

“She loved America and was a happy positive force on campus in all situations.

“Her ice skating class spoke of how much fun it was to have her with them, her Ultimate Frisbee Team all came to the Memorial and spoke of their love for her.

“Hannah-Rose Elledge made her mark at the College of Charleston and as one of her Professors stated, “we are all better people for knowing her”.

A Memorial Service will be held for Hannah at St Nicholas Church, Harpenden, at 3pm next Friday, December 7.