Tandem tragedy couple are laid to rest
HUNDREDS of family and friends paid tribute to Ross and Clare Simons – the couple who were killed when their tandem bike was hit by a car in Hanham.
Around 400 people – most of whom wore brightly coloured clothes – gathered at Westerleigh Crematorium for their joint funeral.
Their two coffins, covered in white roses, were laid side-by-side in a hearse as it entered the grounds behind another hearse carrying the couple's names in flowers.
Ross, 34, and Clare, 30, described by friends as "a perfect couple", had been married for a year and a half and were about to begin fertility treatment.
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The couple, from Fishponds, died at the scene of the crash in Lower Hanham Road on Sunday, January 27.
Mourners entered the chapel to Heaven (candlelight mix) by DJ Sammy, which had been played at the couple's wedding.
The funeral was led by The Rev Peter Cook, from Hanham Baptist Church, who has been in touch with the pair's families since their death.
There was a reading by Ross's sister Kelly Woodruff before the congregation sang All Things Bright and Beautiful.
Tom Williams, Ross's best man at their wedding, and family friend Steve Cann also did readings.
Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross was played while family and friends were given time to reflect on the pair's love for each other.
The Lord's Prayer and the final blessing were read before Heaven by DJ Sammy was again played as mourners went to lay flowers.
White rose petals were dropped over the pair's coffins as they filed out. The order of service contained the words "Love, Laugh, Live" – a phrase the couple lived by – and mourners were asked to make any donation to The Bristol Clinic for reproductive medicine at North Bristol NHS Trust.
Mr Cook afterwards told The Post: "The service went very well – I was amazed at the number of people who turned out.
"The last few weeks have been a very tough and emotional time for both families.
"The funeral was a beautiful way for people to explore their love for the couple.
"There were lots of lovely stories told about both Ross and Clare, like how Ross loved wake boarding and how Clare used to collect worms as a child.
"There was definitely the sense that they both loved life.
"The end of the funeral was beautiful, when everyone laid white rose petals on the coffin – there were so many it looked like a snowdrift.
"All in all it was extremely moving."
Family and friends went on to Kendleshire Golf Club afterwards "to raise a glass for Ross and Clare".
â Nicholas Lovell, 38, of West Street, Oldland Common, has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He is also charged with driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance and failing to stop at the scene of a collision.
He was remanded in custody and is due to appear again before Bristol Crown Court on Thursday.