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The hard-hitting stories to shock Havering youngsters into driving carefully.

PUBLISHED: 12:56 15 November 2011

Nick Bennett and Cheryl Robbins ( front row ) with speakers - Tim Burnett NHS, Russell ( Tiny ) Webb LFB, Jacqur Richard,, Jason Clauson and Lynn Turner at the Queens

Nick Bennett and Cheryl Robbins ( front row ) with speakers - Tim Burnett NHS, Russell ( Tiny ) Webb LFB, Jacqur Richard,, Jason Clauson and Lynn Turner at the Queens

Archant

Imagine stumbling across the scene of a devastating road accident only to find the victim was your beloved daughter.

This was the nightmare faced by one devastated dad which he now relates to youngsters as part of a hard-hitting road safety campaign.

George Galli-Atkinson’s 16-year-old daughter, Livia, died in January 1998.

She had been walking to ballet lessons when a car mounted the pavement before hitting and dragging Livia to her death.

George’s heart-wrenching account was just one of many shocking stories from disabled survivors and the parents of young people killed in road crashes heard this week in the annual Safe Drive, Stay Alive roadshow.

The shows, at the Queen’s Theatre, in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, were attended by every Year 11 pupil in the borough and aims to make new drivers aware of the dangers and risks they face when they start behind the wheel.

Grieving mum Cheryl Robbins, from Essex, told how police called at her house in the early hours of the morning to say her son had died in a car accident.

Passenger Phillip was on his way back to university when the driver lost control of his unroadworthy car on the M3.

The student was thrown from the back seat of the car onto the motorway where he was run over by two more vehicles.

Cheryl said: “The aim is to give the children tools for a life-changing attitude, so when they do have driving lessons what they’ve heard will have sunk in.

“If my talk stops just one other parent going through what I went through that night, it’s worth it.”

She added: “It The experience never leaves you. At the start you know what will make you upset, but as time goes on it hijacks when you don’t expect it. Something small you’ve seen or heard might set you off.”

Brave Nick Bennett left listeners shell-shocked when told how he suffered brain damage after being involved in a horrific head-on road crash in 2002.

The former footballer is now confined to a wheelchair and has difficulty talking.

Cllr Michael White, leader of Havering Council, said: “We have all taken risks when we were younger so it is vital that we get the message to teenagers before they start driving what dangers there are behind the wheel. Young people sometimes think they are invincible – this show confronts them with the harsh reality.”

The campaign is supported by London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police, A&E staff from Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, and the Highways Agency.


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