Friends lay flowers for 'promising PE student' who burned to death in street (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Friends lay flowers for 'promising PE student' who burned to death in street
Tributes have been paid to a promising PE student who burned to death in the road in Raynes Park.
Rachel Osei, 18, a mother, died of her injuries after firefighters and police were called to a level crossing near Tesco New Malden in the early hours of Sunday.
Police are carrying out house to house enquiries today to find out how she died. They also appealed for members of the public who tried to help her to come forward.
Friends gathered this morning in the driving rain to lay flowers outside a house in Linkway, Raynes Park where Miss Osei was living.
Rhianna Price, 18, was a friend of Miss Osei at Ricard Lodge High School in Wimbledon.
She said she and her friends rejected "completely" the idea that Miss Osei took her own life.
She said: "We know how much she loved her son Kai, and we don't believe it would have been self-inflicted at all.
"She was really determined. She got pregnant with Kai in year 9 and she came back to do her GCSEs and A levels.
"She had the ambition."
Miss Price added: "We went to high school together until year 11 and it has been a couple of years.
"She was a really good friend. Unfortunately we grew apart. None of us wanted to believe it."
Miss Osei was living in temporary accomodation for single mothers, neighbours believe.
Kevin Williams, 48, who lives a few doors away, said: "It's a mother and baby house, so there's quite a flow of people through there.
"People are only there a couple of months, tops. We didn't hear anything."
Her college St Mary's Twickenham, a 5,000 student university college in Strawberry Hill, paid tribute to her today.
A spokeswoman said: “St Mary's University College Twickenham received the tragic news regarding Rachel’s death with great sadness.
"Rachel was a promising physical secondary education student who will be missed by staff and students across the St Mary's community and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends at this very sad time."
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