Family and friends pay tribute to Edinburgh crash victim

Rodica Pamphilon was killed in a head-on collision on the A68. Picture; contributed
Rodica Pamphilon was killed in a head-on collision on the A68. Picture; contributed
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The devastated family of a translator and therapist killed in a head-on crash has paid tribute to a “loving and gentle woman”.

Rodica Pamphilon, from Ormiston, died following the accident on the A68 near the Cousland Junction.

The 46-year-old Romanian was heading north in her Ford Fiesta on August 5 when it collided with a Land Rover travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver of the second car, a 62-year-old man, was taken to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries while Mrs Pamphilon died at the scene.

In a statement issued through police, her family said: “Rodica was a loving and gentle woman who was loved by so many.

“We are devastated by her loss in such a tragic way. She will be so dearly missed.”

A police investigation has been launched and anyone with information is asked to come forward.

Mrs Pamphilon worked as an English teacher in her homeland and came to Scotland more than a decade ago to do a Masters degree in applied linguistics.

Following her graduation, she taught in a special needs school catering for pupils with behavioural and emotional difficulties.

Close friend Michael Williams, of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, said: “It was during this period that she discovered how much the young people she worked with enjoyed hearing stories.

“She then began to explore storytelling through workshops at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.”

She also worked as a qualified public service interpreter and translator for Romanian people, her work taking her into hospitals, police stations, courts, social work departments and prisons.

“She helped others find their voice and be heard,” added Mr Williams.

While working as an interpreter and translator, Mrs Pamphilon studied “shamanic healing” alongside husband Joe and offered sessions at the Planetary Healing Centre in Portobello.

Claudia Goncalves, co-founder of the centre, described Mrs Pamphilon as a “person of few words” who wouldn’t “waste energy talking too much”.

“She had a quiet wisdom,” she said.

“She was very strong and supportive of others, giving them unconditional love.”

Mrs Pamphilon took part in a “vision quest” in the Highlands, fasting alone in the wilderness for four days and nights.

She joined a story coaching group at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in October 2013, run by Mr Williams.

He said: “Although nervous, Rodica took the risk and joined us, eager to learn and contribute. I could not have asked for a more curious and willing participant.

“Rodica was a keen observer and listener, her contributions, always positive and constructive, were eagerly awaited by the others.

“She once said to me that joining the group was like ‘coming home’, a place where she could share both her personal stories and the folktales she loved, a safe space where she could develop her voice and confidence. She was an integral part of our storytelling family and we will miss her dearly.”