A British graduate on the trip of a lifetime in South America has been killed in a freak accident while trekking through the rainforest.
Louise Shepherd, 31, was crushed to death when a storm brought trees crashing down onto a jungle encampment in the Madidi national park in Bolivia.
Miss Shepherd left her job at Kingston University in November 2014 to go on the round-the-world trip with her sister, Hannah, 30, and college friend Rose Jones, 30.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, her parents Peter and Christine Shepherd, and her sister Hannah paid tribute to her on what would have been her 32nd birthday, describing her as "beautiful"
Christine said: "She lit up a room, everybody instantly liked her. We have been so moved by all the condolence cards from around the world. She was a special person and touched a lot of people's lives. She was the kindest person you could meet."
Describing the accident, Hannah said: "It was like a tornado that hit us within seconds. We were told to run by the guides and heard a tree crack and then it fell.
"Louise was killed instantly as she was hit by the full force of the tree."
She added: "She was my best friend - she had such charisma and was beautiful and good to everyone.
"People just gravitated towards her. She died as she was having the time of her life and not many people can say that."
Louise became Kingston University's alumni relations officer after she graduated from her museums, galleries and the creative economy masters degree at the university in 2010.
According to Your Local Guardian, Miss Shepherd's former colleagues have also paid their respects on the university's website.
One staff member said: "She was a beautiful young lady inside and out, and always a pleasure to work with."