herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Mum who lost son in crash urges teens to slow down

Trudy Cross
Trudy Cross

a Dublin woman whose 19-year-old son died in a motorbike accident has helped deliver a hard-hitting road safety message to teenagers in Dublin.

So far this year, Irish roads have claimed the lives of 14 children under the age of 16 - twice the number who died last year.

Trudy Cross (50), from Ballybrack, joined members of the emergency services at the AXA Roadsafe Roadshow in Dun Laoghaire to try to impress on transition year students the real-life impact of a serious road accident.

Ms Cross spoke of her devastation after her son, Craig, crashed into a wall while trying out his new motorbike four years ago.

"I still wake during the night and I still see Craig lying on the ground," she said.

"I still wake up and say, 'I can't believe that he is gone'. Life shouldn't be like that, but that is the way it is going to be until the day I die.

"I hate when people tell me time is a healer, because it isn't when you lose a child.

"You learn to live with it and you just keep going.

"You do it for your other children.

"You don't want them to see you crying and depressed, you keep fighting.

"It will be a fight for the rest of my life."

Ms Cross said young boys in particular "have no fear" and do not see the danger of speeding.

"If even one of these kids remembers me speaking and sees how brokenhearted I am, they might stop and think," she said.

"Hopefully my story today will go into their brain."

The roadshow takes teenagers through a serious road-traffic accident as it unfolds through the eyes of the emergency services.

Sgt Declan Eagan, who is based at Dun Laoghaire garda station, said a small tweak in behaviour can stop teenagers from joining the 146 people who have already died on Irish roads this year.

rehearsal

"Life isn't a dress rehearsal. It's not like the Xbox, you can't just press the reset button," he said.

"This is the real world and if you get it wrong, it is game over."

There are four more roadshows planned for this year with events in Blanchardstown, Cork, Kerry and Cavan still to come.

hnews@herald.ie

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