The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project was inspired by the voices of people who are living with their loss and grief, but want to use their experiences and stories to influence and change people’s behaviours and attitudes on our roads.
When you read in the paper or hear in the news about a tragic incident on our roads we react with horror and sympathy for a few moments before continuing with our day. To those who have lost loved ones or are facing life changing circumstances, the incident itself is only the beginning.
Many of these incidents could have been avoided if attitudes and behaviours had been different. Not using that mobile phone, driving within the speed limit, paying more attention to what was going on around them or by simply driving a safe, maintained and insured vehicle. Small things which in these cases had much larger consequences.
The families who have shared their stories as part of the project hope that their voices will help change and influence behaviours and attitudes on our roads so that other families don’t have to go through what they have.
Miriam was travelling from her home to visit her boyfriend one evening when she was hit by an oncoming car, driven by a driver under the influence of alcohol. Miriam was sadly killed in the collision.
Miriam’s death was totally avoidable. By driving under the influence of alcohol the driver put themselves in a position where they could kill or seriously injure somebody. The actions of the driver not only changed the lives of Miriam’s family, but the lives of her partner and his family, her friends and the local community.
“Miriam was only 21 years old and had her whole life ahead of her. She was one of four sisters as well as being an identical twin. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was talented, generous, gentle and caring; never without a smile on her face.” – Ceinwen Briddon, Miriam’s Mother
Jason Hitchen was in training for his second Ironman event in July 2017, when he was knocked off his bike by a car. He suffered serious injuries requiring several surgical procedures.
Against all odds, Jason has since recovered and continues with his cycling and still competes. He is now passionately advocating for all road users to change their behaviours on the roads.
“I was cycling along at around 30mph when I was hit. I remember lying in the road, trying to breathe but my lungs had collapsed so I was gasping for air… I thought I was going to die.” – Jason Hitchen
Lona Wyn Jones
In May 2012, Lona Jones was a passenger in a car that was travelling at excessive speed when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The car rolled over repeatedly, eventually coming to a stop on its roof.
Lona died aged 22 years old and the individual responsible was sentenced to 3 years, 9 months in prison.
“The loss of a child is the hardest thing in life” – Martin Jones, Lona Wyn’s Father
On the night of the 2nd July 2016, Kelly had not arrived home from her shift. Her mother’s worst fears were realised when a police officer came to tell her the tragic news that Kelly had been killed in a head on collision with a car driving at high speed in her lane on the road.
The offenders responsible for her death were found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced to 6 years, 4 months and 7 years in prison, respectively.
“We will never get to see our daughter fulfil her dreams of becoming a social worker, wave her off on her trip of a lifetime, watch her get married and have children or live her life to the fullest because of the careless actions of two people who get to continue with their lives.” - Tracy Kennedy, Kelly’s Mother
Mandy Draper was cycling home from work when she was hit head on by a car. Mandy suffered two unstable fractures to her spine, several broken ribs, a punctured lung, a badly broken wrist, head injuries and the handlebars of her bike pierced through her left thigh which had to be operated on.
Luckily, Mandy was wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet was second nature for Mandy and was part of her daily routine when going out on her bike. A small part of her routine, which saved her life!
“All I remember from that day is a white car travelling towards me, waking up in an ambulance in horrendous pain, the noise of the helicopter and being told I may never walk again.” - Mandy Draper