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A firefighter responding to a car crash engulfed in flames discovered his own 21-year-old daughter dead in the wreckage.
Adrian Smith, 47, was working on Sunday when a call to a blazing three-car pile-up in Pembrokeshire, Wales, took him to the scene of Ella Brooke Smith's final moments.
He found Ella, a trainee nurse, lying beside her boyfriend Ashden King, 22, in his Ford Ka as they returned home from a day out at the beach.
In a heart-wrenching post on Facebook, Adrian and his family said: "We are utterly devastated at losing our beloved Ella. She was a much loved and caring daughter, sister, and granddaughter.
"She was a beautiful girl who will be missed by us all. We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family as we grieve for our Ella."
Ella and Ashden drove seven miles to the seaside resort of Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, before setting back on Sunday evening to her home in nearby Camrose when the fatal incident happened.
Adrian arrived to see the Ka had overturned on a bend and was then hit by two other vehicles.
The devoted dad was on duty on Sunday evening when he was called to the three-vehicle crash on the B4341 in Pembrokeshire.
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Police said Ella died at the scene on the country road in Haverfordwest while three others were seriously hurt.
Ashden suffered serious injuries along with another man and woman in the two other vehicles.
A family friend said: "You cannot imagine how Adrian must be feeling. It is every emergency worker's worst nightmare to find your own child is a victim.
"They are such a lovely family. Ella was so bubbly with all her future ahead of here."
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Adrian, Ella’s mother Maria, and her brother and sister are being supported by specialist police officers from the Dyfed Powys force.
Tributes were paid by friends on social media to the "sweetest girl who ever walked the earth".
One said: "This is so cruel. We just hope her family can remember her with as much love as we do."
Ella worked as a trainee nurse at the Parc Y Llyn Nursing and Residential Home in nearby Ambleston.
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Owner David Van Dyk said: "She always brought a bright ray of sunshine into our lives. We are all absolutely devastated.
"We all feel very strongly for her family and offer them our sympathy. She was so very happy and the residents here loved her."
Dyfed-Powys Police appealed for dashcam footage from other drivers at the scene of the horrific crash.
A spokesman said: "We can confirm that the person who sadly died in the road traffic collision on the B4341 between Haverfordwest and Broadhaven on Sunday 13th June 2021 has been formally identified as 21-year-old Ella Smith from the Camrose area.
"It is believed that the vehicles involved were a blue Citroen C1, a white Ford Ka, and a white Seat Ibiza.
"Sadly, a female occupant in the white Ford Ka passed away at the scene. Next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers. Two males and a female were taken to hospital with serious injuries."
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