Individuals who have lost loved ones in road crashes across the North West have shared their heartbreaking stories to raise awareness of the dangers of driving for Brake’s Road Safety Week (19-25 November).
In 2022, 64 people were killed on roads across Greater Manchester and over the past decade there has been 133 deaths related to young drivers in our city-region.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) attends road traffic collisions (RTCs) whenever someone is trapped in a vehicle and our firefighters now rescue more people from RTCs than fires.
Most serious road crashes are caused by the ‘Fatal 4’ - when drivers speed, get distracted, drive under the influence of drink or drugs, or they or their passengers fail to wear a seatbelt.
To raise awareness of the ‘Fatal 4’, and the devastating consequences of dangerous driving, Calvin Buckley, Paula Allen, Mike Peters and Ann Marie Hornsby have shared their stories.
Calvin Buckley lost his partner Frankie Julia Hough, who was 17 weeks pregnant, in a road crash on 13 May this year.
Frankie was killed by a driver who was filming himself speeding at 123mph on the M66 in Bury.
Calvin said: “My world ended that day. I’ve gone from the happiest moments of my life to the worst devastation that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.
“Don’t be using roads as racetracks because it results in people losing their lives.”
Paula’s son Marcus Simmons-Allen passed away at the age of 18 following a road crash on 11 October, 2021.
Marcus was crossing the road with a friend on George Richards Way in Altrincham when he was hit by a car travelling at approximately twice the speed limit.
Paula said: “It was the most horrifying thing I've ever, ever seen in my life. You feel so helpless, it’s your own son.
“It's not a game. It's not a laugh. A speed limit is there for a reason.”
In 2002, Mike lost his daughter Vicky Peters in a road crash outside of their family home.
Vicky was passenger in a speeding car being driven by her boyfriend’s friend.
Mike said, “One moment, everything's normal. You've got the perfect family and within an instant, it changes forever.
“It’s not worth the death of somebody to read that message on your phone or to be driving too quickly. Don’t risk everything.”
Ann Marie Hornsby
Ann Marie’s son Colin Hornsby passed away at the age of 17 following a road crash in North Wales on 26 October 2018.
Colin was a back-seat passenger in a car driven by his friend which lost control and crashed into another vehicle.
Ann Marie said: “None of us are immortal, I'm telling you now.
“I know it. I never, ever thought that I would be burying my son, my 17-year-old son.”
Ann Marie, Calvin, Paula and Mike all also supported the delivery of Safe Drive Stay Alive this year – a road safety initiative that educates young people about the dangers of driving through the real-life testimonies of emergency service workers and families who have lost loved ones in road crashes.
Kate Green, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said:
“I’m so grateful to Calvin, Paula, Mike and Ann Marie for sharing their stories and highlighting the devastating consequences of dangerous and careless driving.
“Driving comes with great responsibilities. When you are behind the wheel please think about others, your family, your friends, yourself and the potential impacts of your actions.
“We all have a part to play if we are to achieve ‘Vision Zero’ and eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our roads, and it is important that we recognise that.”
Superintendent Gareth Parkin from Greater Manchester Police’s Safer Transport Team said:
“As the winter months draw in, more than ever we’re encouraging people to prioritise safety on our roads.
“Throughout Brake’s Road Safety Week officers will be engaging members of the public about the risks of dangerous driving, and a number of traffic operations will be running across Greater Manchester on routes identified as causing high harm.
“As well as committing to safe driving behaviours it is important that we all ensure our vehicles are safe, compliant, and roadworthy.
“Our behaviours and actions on the road today may determine someone else’s tomorrow.”
Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said:
“It is truly shocking to hear Calvin, Paula, Mike and Ann Marie share the catastrophic impact that drivers who made terrible decisions, had on them, their families and friends.
“These deaths with their horrific and far-reaching consequences could be avoided if we took action to make our roads safer, and to ensure drivers took seriously their responsibility at the wheel of vehicles, and the risk they pose if not driven responsibly.
“Greater Manchester's Vision Zero approach will require all of us to work together towards ensuring no deaths or serious injuries on our roads in future - and the terrible experiences highlighted here remind people why this is something we simply have to do.”
Article Published: 20/11/2023 12:28 PM