Scotland's Road Safety Framework

Mark’s story of losing his Brother, Connor

The morning of 14th April 2018 gave me a sickness in my stomach I do not wish to feel in my lifetime again.

I was at work and it was about 5am. I was made aware that I had to contact my Dad as he had been trying to get hold of me. I turned to the person I was working with and said “Something has happened in my family”.

I knew from just the hour and circumstances that something had happened, but I never expected what I was to hear when I made contact with my Dad.

He explained my younger brother of 21 years of age had been hit with a car. My Dad was clearly upset. As soon as he said Police were ‘Blue lighting’ him to the hospital, my heart collapsed.

My mind went completely blank…
Connor had been hit by a car at just over 40 mile per hour, as he crossed the road. He was rushed into surgery, being kept with us on life support. He was a young, fit, well-built man that worked on construction sites. We were lucky though. We got to spend 9 special days with him. The final days of saying goodbye, of telling him what he meant to us as a brother, son, uncle, cousin, nephew, grandson and overall a great friend. He was laid to rest the day after his 22nd Birthday.

Now I constantly get a sickness and anger when I see irresponsible, careless and selfish drivers on the roads. I also think of Connor and that if they kill or hurt someone then they will be living a life sentence of regret.

All I want to do now is help make the roads as safe as possible. Getting to a destination quicker or a few minutes earlier doesn’t matter. Getting there safely does.

Beth’s story of losing her daughter Jane

My beautiful 16 year old Jane was tragically killed in a horrific car crash caused by the driver reaching speeds into 3 figures and doing the drift manoeuvre on the road resulting in Jane being killed instantly. Jane was my one and only family and I was left on 14th July 2013 absolutely broken to say the least with the last words my Jane said to me was “Mum you are the best”. I have to spend the rest of my life from losing Jane never being called MUM again, picking flowers to visit Jane’s grave with on special occasions.

Jane was an extremely intelligent little lady and she didn’t even get to know that she had been accepted into Dental nursing school on the day after she was killed.

Please please take care on the roads as there is no such thing as a bad road it is the drivers on the roads who cause the devastation and believe me I am living proof of a very painful life I now have to live without my 16 year old daughter because of someone else’s reckless actions which resulted in my daughter Jane being KILLED.

Roads are not racetracks!

Maria’s story after the loss of her Brother, David

My brother David.  A hardworking man who was always ready to give a helping hand.  David loved cars and motorbikes. So much so he went to work in a garage after leaving school.

He started driving lessons and quickly saved up to buy his first car, a brown Vauxhall Nova; his pride and joy. He loved the freedom of driving and wasn’t long before that included motorbikes. He enjoyed going to the stock car racing in Crimond on a Sunday with his pal Mark. Always such a confident and careful driver. In 2002 he decided to change careers. He went to college to get the qualifications needed to join the RAF. On the 17th October 2003 on a beautiful autumn afternoon at the age of 27 David decided to take his bike out for one last time before selling it. Little did we know how that day was going to end. As he travelled along the Aberdeen to Peterhead road, he went to overtake, but one of the drivers in front turned right, into David’s path. They failed to see him and collided with him, killing him instantly. The driver who hit David was not responsible. We were in Portugal at the time, it was the worst phone call to receive. We returned home immediately. The closer we got, the more the realisation of the situation hit me, I wasn’t going to see or hear my brother again.

The pain of losing David never leaves us. We must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. Never take anyone or anything for granted, it can all be taken away in a heartbeat.

Joan’s story of the downward spiral that losing Moira had on the family

I don’t believe the correct adjectives have been invented to describe the loss of my sister Moira in a road crash. She was killed on a country road in Northumberland in 2008 whilst at work.

She was a nanny to Libby, aged 3, who miraculously survived the crash. Libby was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries including a broken neck. The crash was with a Scania LGV (log transporter).

The family went into “tailspin”.  We were all suffering traumatic grief. I am the middle generation in my family with parents and sons.

The darkest of days followed. Press intrusion was a major issue and at my insistence, the press were banned from Moira’s funeral. The press and public could not reconcile what happened in the crash and 7 headlines followed.

Twenty two months later my Mum died.  Simply, she couldn’t live without Moira. As a family we were like demolished rubble.  I desperately tried to scramble our lives back together.

Four years on, my Dad and I made a complaint to the local police in Northumberland. We wanted answers and a horrendous battle unfolded. He was the General and I was the foot soldier.  Metaphorically, I would sometimes crawl back to my Dad in distress. He would help me, then I returned to the battle.

Two years later, we found that Moira had died from a sudden heart attack at the wheel. Her name was cleared and an apology issued by the police.

Peace did come, but there was no victory. I resigned from my job and took some time to recover. I was exhausted and needed to re-adjust back to my life.

I will be eternally grateful that I had the most wonderful sister. I will continue volunteering for Brake, in her memory, to support road crash victims.