A balloon release is being held in memory of a much-loved woman from a close-knit community following her tragic death.

Friends and loved ones are being asked to wear sunglasses as a tribute to 25-year-old Natalie Marshall for the event in St Helen Auckland, near Bishop Auckland, on Friday.

Moving tributes have been paid to the sales advisor who died in a crash on the A167 on the outskirts of Darlington.

She was driving a Mercedes C Class when it hit a tree on the way back from Middlesbrough in the early hours of Friday, June 17.

Her beloved father, Alex Coleman said she was ‘much loved’ and will be ‘sadly missed’.

The Northern Echo: Natalie and her dad AlexNatalie and her dad Alex

Natalie’s elder sister, Chloe Coleman, a 28-year-old domestic assistant, said: “It was a privilege to know her and for me to be her sister.

“She was someone who cannot be replaced.

“She was the soul of everything and she had such an infectious laugh. The stories would just come out of her. There will never be another Natalie.”

The Northern Echo: Natalie with sister Chloe Natalie with sister Chloe

The balloon release is being organised by Natalie’s close friend Hannah Bellwood, 20, who also lives in St Helen Auckland.

Hannah, who is hairdresser, said: “There was never a dull moment around Natalie.

“She was loving and caring and would always put a smile on your face, no matter what the situation was.

“She was easy going and everyone got on with her.

“She was a bit of a lunatic when she wanted to be, a bit crazy, but she was a very good person to be with. She was one-of-a-kind.”

The Northern Echo: Natalie Marshall Natalie Marshall

Balloon Buddies is supplying balloons for the release and people will be able to buy them on the night with all profits going to Natalie’s family.

People are being asked to meet at 6pm ahead of the release at 7pm the request is that all balloons are black.

Natalie’s death has hit the community hard and her family and friends are still coming to terms with the shock of what has happened.

The Northern Echo: Natalie with Kirsty RickabyNatalie with Kirsty Rickaby

The Northern Echo: Natalie with Megan NewcombeNatalie with Megan Newcombe

The Northern Echo: Natalie with Emily Robson Natalie with Emily Robson


The Northern Echo: Natalie with Shannon MurrayNatalie with Shannon Murray

A group Natalie’s friends who call themselves ‘the Gals’, including Shannon Murray, Emily Robson, Megan Newcombe and Kirsty Rickaby, paid their own special tribute to their friend.

They said: “Natalie, you lit up everyone’s life with your presence.

“You were the life and soul of the party.

“There was no one like you and there never will be.

“You will be sadly missed. There is only one Natalie Marshall.

“You will forever be in our thoughts and memories.”

Read more: Tributes to woman who died in A167 crash 


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