A newly qualified pharmacist from Eastbourne has been killed and her young daughter left critically ill after a road accident in Russia.
Alena Busmiene died after the taxi she was travelling in with her six-year-old daughter Ariana was involved in the accident.
Ariana was rushed to hospital and has been in a coma.
A major fundraising campaign has now been launched by the family’s friends in Eastbourne to help with funeral expenses and help Ariana in her recovery.
The little girl had just left Pashley Down School and was due to start at Ocklynge in September.
Almost £3,000 has been raised on the Justgiving page.
The mother and daughter lived in Old Town and Miss Busmiene had taken her daughter to Bryansk in Russia to see family and celebrate qualifying as a pharmacist.
Friends claim the taxi driver fell asleep at the wheel of the car.
A Foreign Office spokesman said it was assisting the family of Alena and Ariana, both British citizens.
A spokesman for the University of Brighton said, “All of us at the university, staff and students, are shocked and saddened by Alena’s tragic death.
“Alena was a very hard-working student who was awarded the degree of Master of Pharmacy, with Second Class Honours (Upper Division), in 2016.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends, and, in particular, her injured daughter.”
Pashley Down headteacher Jennifer Cruse said the school community was devastated at the sad news.
“Ariana is a lovely little girl, very bright and sporty,” said the headteacher. “She is very popular and was always with her mother.
“She was very much looking forward to starting at Ocklynge.”
Special assemblies are likely to be held for fellow classmates when they start at Ocklynge.