500 celebrate crash victim's life

PINK and purple balloons drifted above Riverside yesterday as a tribute to some of Natalia Pearn's favourite things.

The colours were Natalia's favourites and the way they flew expressed her love for travel _ a love that was going to take her to Fiji and the US in four weeks.

The balloons were released by the 27-year-old's family and friends at the conclusion of her funeral service at Riverside's Tailrace Centre.

About 500 people attended the service and celebrated Natalia's life, which was cut short in a head-on collision on the Midland Highway, south of Oatlands, on March 24.

Friends and family described Natalia as loving, caring, strong-willed and beautiful.

``Tails was the most kind-hearted person I knew,'' friend Lauren Haskell said.

``If I could take anything from this, it would be to be more like Tails.''

Cousin Clare Richardson spoke of their times growing up together; from playing at the family's farm at Whitemore when Natalia was a ``tom-boy'', to Natalia's adult years when she dressed like a girl, drank Passion Pop, found a love for travel and became an award-winning hairdresser.

``She loved to get dirty [when she was little] and she hated when anyone would brush her hair,'' Ms Richardson said.

``I don't know how she became a hairdresser.

``Tails loved to put on an incredible frock, impossible shoes, funk jewellery and, of course, her MAC make-up.

``She was the queen of the fancy dress parties . . . and was always the life of the party and I will always remember her for her great smile, ever-changing hair, wonderful body art and wonderful taste in DVDs and movies.''

Natalia's coffin was driven from the centre as the family popped bottles of Passion Pop.

The funeral service yesterday for Natalia Pearn, who died in a head-on collision on the Midland Highway. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

The funeral service yesterday for Natalia Pearn, who died in a head-on collision on the Midland Highway. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER