'My soul is screaming that my granddaughter is dead'
As the driver who killed 17-year-old Shelby Maher is jailed for six years, her grandmother has released this heartbreaking statement.
Linda Maher said: "I was blessed to be in the operating theatre and be present at the birth of my beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed granddaughter. I watched her take her first breath in this world at 11.10am weighing only 5lbs.13oz. I was the first person to hold our special bundle, I looked at her and I loved her instantly.
"My daughter Melanie, Shelby’s Mum, lived with me. We brought Shelby home and between Melanie, myself and my son Lee, we started a new chapter in our lives. It was chaotic at times but a new baby brought love and laughter into our lives
"In 2014, Shelby's mum gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Shelby gave her the name of Amy and no one got a look in with Amy when Shelby was around.
"She would carry her and sing to her. Shelby taught her to sing songs, her favourite one was twinkle, twinkle little star. I believe Shelby was trying to protect Amy in her own special way. She amazed me as she had a heart so big.
"We often talked about everything like what jobs she would like to study for, where she would like to travel to, learning to drive, marriage, to starting a family. She even knew what names to call her first child. College was going good and she was in a band. They were starting to do some gigs and she was a bit scared but excited to perform. Shelby was writing songs and singing at home most nights.
"Every day is a battle for me to appear normal, all the while my soul is screaming “My Granddaughter is dead”. The unbearable pain is always there. I literally feel like my heart is broken and I know the heartache is here to stay.
"Shelby is on my mind constantly and it’s never going to get better or any easier. Our lives have changed completely, changed forever. Now every day is a battle trying to appear normal with family and friends as the unbearable pain is always there.
"I truly miss all the little things about Shelby. Right from getting her out of bed in the mornings for college, to before she left the house I would without fail hug and kiss her and tell her that I loved her. I miss the feel and smell of her in my arms when I gave her cuddles, she got plenty of those off me.
"I felt she needed them. I cry for the life and life experiences she'll never have. She was going to be a children’s advocate and her interview for that was being set up before the crash. I will never see her get engaged, or married or have her own children.
"No future grandchildren for her mum and no great grandchildren for me. A whole new generation of our family history is now gone. I miss her greatly. I will miss her every day for the rest of my life."