A fashion-mad mother of three killed in a hit-and-run rampage was buried in a leopard skin-patterned coffin as hundreds celebrated her life today.

Karina Menzies, 31, died after throwing her two young daughters to safety as a van knocked down pedestrians in Cardiff, South Wales, three weeks ago.

Her final act of heroism ensured the two daughters with her at the time survived the unprovoked attack in which she lost her life.

karina menzies

Pallbearers carry the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies, led by her brothers Craig (front) and Gareth (front hidden)

Mourners at a special church service in the city's Ely district were reduced to tears today as poignant messages from her daughters were read out.

The close-knit community is still reeling from the tragic events of October 19 in which Ms Menzies died and 13 others were injured.

Sister Sam Menzies spoke out publicly today to vow to look after her sister's three orphaned daughters.

karina menzies

Mourners hug as they leave the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff after the service of Karina Menzies

Other family members did the same at an emotionally charged funeral service at the Church of the Resurrection in Ely.
Up to 300 people were earlier reduced to tears as vicar Reverend Jan Gould read out personal messages from the children to their mother.

In a frequently tearful service the leopard skin-patterned coffin was carried into the church by six sobbing family and friends.

It had been drawn through the streets by two large black horses pulling an ornate glass hearse decorated with a single floral tribute of carnations spelling out the word "mum."

Loading Slideshow...
  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies arrives inside a horse drawn hearse at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies arrives inside a horse drawn hearse at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The pallbearers take the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies from the horse drawn carriage hearse at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The pallbearers take the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies from the horse drawn carriage hearse at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    A police officer removes her hat as the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies arrives at Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The pallbearers prepare to take the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies from the horse drawn carriage hearse at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    Mourners hug as they leave the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff after the service of Karina Menzies.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The horse drawn funeral cortege containing the leopard skin style coffin of Karina Menzies outside the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff after Karina's service.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The pallbearers carry the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies, led by her brothers Craig (front) and Gareth (front hidden), from the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    The pallbearers carry the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies, led by her brothers Craig (front) and Gareth (front hidden), from the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Mourners place flowers ahead of a tribute held by the local community outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, for Karina Menzies who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • The Funeral of Karina Menzies

    Mourners react as they watch the leopard skin style coffin containing Karina Menzies as it arrives at the Church of Ressurection, Ely, near Cardiff.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Floral tributes outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, where Karina Menzies, 32, was killed in a multiple hit and run incident which also saw seven children and four adults were among those injured.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Mourners during a tribute held by the local community outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, for Karina Menzies who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Craig Menzies is embraced by a wellwisher following a special service of prayer at The Church of the Resurrection on Grand Avenue in Ely, Cardiff, for the victims, including his sister Karina Menzies, of a series of hit-and-run incidents on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Craig Menzies after a tribute held by the local community outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, for his sister Karina Menzies who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • POLICE Crashes 155675

    Mourners place flowers ahead of a tribute held by the local community outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, for Karina Menzies who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Cardiff City v Watford - Cardiff City Stadium

    Cardiff City players respect a minutes silence for 'hit and run' victim Karina Menzies before the npower Football League Championship match at Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.

  • POLICE Crashes 155622

    Mourners during a tribute held by the local community outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, for Karina Menzies who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday afternoon in the Welsh capital.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    Floral tributes outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, where Karina Menzies, 32, was killed in a multiple hit and run incident which also saw seven children and four adults were among those injured.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    People ;eave floral tributes outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, where Karina Menzies, 32, was killed in a multiple hit and run incident which also saw seven children and four adults were among those injured.

  • Cardiff hit and run incident

    People ;eave floral tributes outside the Fire Station in Ely, Cardiff, where Karina Menzies, 32, was killed in a multiple hit and run incident which also saw seven children and four adults were among those injured.