Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are appealing for the public to witness a collision that could save their life.
On Thursday 12 September, shortly before 7:30pm, a woman had a momentary lapse in concentration and drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Firefighters, paramedics and police officers attended but, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation concluded that this was a senseless and tragic loss of life affecting so many people due to an act of careless driving.
The mother of one left behind her husband and young daughter, while the driver of the other vehicle was left seriously injured with several broken bones and a collapsed left lung.
This may not be a real incident…
… but this is the reality for more than one person a week in Cheshire.
That’s why Cheshire’s emergency services have today, Friday 13 September, released a powerful account of how a fatal collision affects not only the driver and their family, but everyone else subsequently involved.
The emotive video highlights the devastation collisions cause with emergency services staff speaking out about how responding to these incidents affect them personally.
Shockingly, 46 people lost their lives on Cheshire’s roads in 2018. That’s 46 families worlds brought crashing down and 46 times emergency services staff witnessed the subsequent tragedy unfold.
This year has seen more than one person a week die on our roads, and Cheshire’s emergency services are stressing that collisions can be avoided if road users think about how they drive, consider the conditions of the road and assess their surroundings.
In particular, this time last year is when we saw a sharp rise in the number of people dying on the roads – 32 people did not go home between September and February. We don’t want the same to happen again this year.
Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, Head of Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, said: “One death as a result of something preventable is one too many. The moment we get that call we have had another fatal collision in the county – our hearts sink.
“A family liaison officer has to go and break the devastating news to the family, and help them to rebuild their lives – without their loved one. It’s heartbreaking. Not just for the family who have lost their mother/father/child, but for all the responding emergency service staff who have to help pick up the pieces.
“With the nights getting darker and the roads getting wetter, it’s more important than ever that people heed our advice and drive more carefully.”
Station Manager Andy Gray, Road Safety Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As a Service we spend a considerable amount of time educating road users on how to drive safely. We explain and show the consequences of how one reckless decision behind the wheel can have – yet we are seeing the number of people killed on our roads increase.
“Firefighters do a great job at rescuing people from collisions however sometimes, it is just too late. They have seen far too many preventable fatalities and life-changing injuries on the county’s roads.
“Think before you overtake and make sure it is safe to do so, concentrate when pulling out of a junction, look out for cyclists and motorcyclists, leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front and drive appropriately for the road and weather conditions. I promise you, it’s not worth dying for…”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “Making our roads safer is one of the most important priorities for the residents I represent in Cheshire and I am working closely with our Chief Constable and victims to improve road safety across the county.
“I recently met the family of a young man killed on one of Cheshire’s roads to talk to them about how they were supported by Cheshire Police and to discuss how the criminal justice system can better support victims and their families. It was harrowing to see first-hand the devastating effect the loss of a loved one had had on the entire family.
“This video not only captures the aftermath of a road traffic collisions for the victims’ family but also emergency services workers. I hope it makes people think twice about driving recklessly and putting their lives and the lives of other road users and pedestrians at risk.”