Family mourns the loss of ‛shining light’
The mother of a teenage girl who died in a weekend road accident arrived at the scene just minutes after the crash.
Heidi Bridges was following her 16-year-old daughter Amber, who was on her motorbike, when her machine and a van were in collision last Sunday.
Ms Bridges said Amber was a shining light who looked forward to a career working with horses.
Ms Bridges said: “We were starting her applications for chiropractic school.
“Everything she did revolved around horses. She wanted to be a chiropractor for horses and humans.”
She added: “Amber was wise beyond her years, super sensitive, funny, very mature and switched on. She always wanted to best for everybody.
“She was such a bright light all the time. From the outpouring of love, I hope she knows how everybody loved and cared for her.”
Ms Bridges said: “She just loved life. She had such a spark – she loved to sing and dance and make people laugh.
“She appreciated the beauty of the island, loved the ocean and the outdoors, and was very grateful for everything. We loved to explore nature together.
“She joined her older brother climbing trees and rocks, tried her hand at surfing, but horses were absolutely it.
“Horses are where her heart was.”
Ms Bridges said Amber, a lifelong horse rider, would have graduated from high school in December.
Amber was killed while riding to the beach in a collision on South Road, Southampton.
Ms Bridges said Amber competed in dressage, on hunters and in show jumping.
Her mother added: “She would not get behind a pony and race, but she did everything behind the scenes when we had a racing pony.
“She was in her brother’s pit crew, but she never raced.”
Ms Bridges, also a keen rider, said Amber’s father, Keith, was an animal lover and her own family was “an equestrian family”.
Ms Bridges added her mother is Roseann Michelsen, whose husband Jim is a familiar voice at Vesey Street in Devonshire as the commentator at horse shows.
Amber’s brother, Lucas, 20, is also an equestrian.
Ms Bridges said: “When she was younger, the slow pace of the hunters was more her sport.
“She wasn’t as brave as her brother – but she sure got there.”
Amber, who was keen to continue her education overseas, was home-schooled through the US-based Lighthouse Christian Academy.
She competed in equestrian events every summer in Canada and had hoped to ride in the US last year, but was blocked by the coronavirus crisis.
A tribute has been organised for Saturday by Amber’s friends, who have asked people to wear pink in her memory.