A LARGE tranquillity space has opened at a Poole primary school in memory of two sisters who were killed in a crash more than 20 years ago.

Heatherlands Primary School in Parkstone celebrated the opening of 'The Valley', a large outside space with mini allotments, a garden and orchard, a pond and two learning centres enabling the children to learn outside at the end of last month.

Part of The Valley is a tranquillity space in memory of sisters Isabel and Caitlin Embleton, aged seven and four respectively, who were killed in a car crash in June 2001. The pair, who died along with their parents, were pupils at the school.

This space is marked with two memorial plaques for the girls and is a quiet, reflective area with a large tree and seating space.

Bournemouth Echo: Bench memorial to Isabel Embleton at Heatherlands Primary School, PooleBench memorial to Isabel Embleton at Heatherlands Primary School, Poole

Staff and students watched on as the mayor of Poole, Cllr Tony Trent, cut the ribbon to officially open The Valley and received a round of applause.

In a touching moment, the tranquillity space was opened by former head teacher Veronica Lawson who was in charge of the school when the tragedy struck – guiding the school through one of its most difficult periods.

After the short ceremony, the various guests enjoyed a cream tea and a performance by the Little Heathers choir.

The community was left in shock following the tragic crash more than 20 years ago.

Tim Embleton, 50, Naomi Stephens, 36, and children Caitlin Stephens, seven, and Isabel Stephens, four, of Woking Road, Parkstone were killed in the incident on the A36 Warminster bypass.

The driver of the lorry, which collided with the family's car was found guilty of four counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

The court was told he had taken amphetamine sulphate to try to stay awake at the wheel that day.

They were also told the lorry driver either fell asleep at the wheel or "experienced a complete or extended loss of concentration".

He had managed only three hours sleep in the 36 hours leading up to the accident.