Tributes paid to car plunge victim - young mum Narmara Whisker
FRIENDS have paid tribute to a young mum who died after a car plunged over a bridge in Bristol city centre.
She was named locally as 23-year-old Narmara Whisker who was a front seat passenger in a silver BMW which careered through the railings of St Philip's Bridge in Passage Street during the early hours of Saturday morning.
Four other people in the car – one man and three women – escaped with their lives but Narmara, pictured below, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Narmara, who had a baby son only three months ago and lived in Easton, used to work in a mobile phone shop in Broadmead before moving on to work at a retail store in Cabot Circus.
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Zoe Roberts, 27, a sales executive who used to work with Narmara, said: "She was a larger-than-life kind of person. Everyone loved her.
"She was always smiling and great fun to be with."
Other friends described Narmara as "the kindest person you could ever meet".
School friend Shawnika Sergeant, 22, said the pair had become close while studying at the former Speedwell Technical College.
Miss Sergeant said: "She was so pretty, bubbly and a special girl.
"I could not believe it when people started texting me.
"I have known her for so long, it is hard to take."
Another woman, who arrived to pay tribute at a makeshift shrine next to the river, said she was with Narmara in a Bristol nightclub until minutes before the crash happened.
The woman, a distant relative who asked not to be named, said: "We saw each other in the club, we gave each other a hug.
"I am so glad I had the chance to do that now, because I realise it was goodbye."
Another friend said Narmara was a guest at her five-year-old son's christening.
"Narmara has a baby son, I can't believe he is going to grow up without his mummy," she said.
Six police officers leapt into the murky Floating Harbour to rescue the crash victims near the former Courage Brewery site in the city centre.
A man and a woman were taken into police custody on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, while two other women – believed to be passengers – are being treated as witnesses.
Police Inspector Paul Winship said: "The six officers were treated by medics for the effects of being in the water."
He said that as far as he was aware they were back on duty yesterday.
Mr Winship dismissed the suggestion that a police vehicle may have been in pursuit of the BMW as it crashed into the railings of the bridge.
He said: "I can confirm this was a straightforward accident involving a single car going off the road.
"It was not a pursuit, and so the Independent Police Complaints Commission has not been informed."
A temporary barrier was put up yesterday to cover up the gaping hole in railings over the bridge, where the car plunged 20ft (6m) into the water below.
Several bouquets of flowers lay on a plinth next to the river's edge, paying tribute to Narmara.
One woman, who asked not to be named, said she came to look at the spot where her sister "nearly lost her life".
She said her sister was one of the passengers in the car, but had miraculously survived.
A 33-year-old man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, drink driving, driving without insurance and driving a vehicle without a licence.
He was refused bail and will appear before Bristol magistrates today.
A 21-year-old woman from Bristol who was arrested has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.