Mother's plea to drive safely
SHE has been through nine years of hell, experiencing a pain she has no cure for and wants to warn others before it’s too late.
For 18 years Ian Jones was the light of his mother Allison’s life until he was unexpectedly taken from her after a car accident near his Warwick home.
Today Warwick police, ambulance, fire and State Emergency Service (SES) crews will hold a Remember Day for the first time to recall those who have been killed or injured on our roads.
For Mrs Jones, she knows only too well how easy an accident can happen as her son set off with mates to Toogoolawah Rodeo to compete on November 4, 2001, where Ian contested the wild horse race.
About 4am they were nearing home, just down the road from the Matilda Roadhouse when their vehicle hit a tree, killing Ian and his mate Daniel May.
“My family has found it hard to move on – it still feels like it just happened yesterday... we have never been the same,” Mrs Jones said.
“It’s something you wouldn’t wish on anybody, even your worst enemy.
“Any way accidents can be prevented is a good thing – people just need to not drive when they are tired.”
Warwick Police District Officer Inspector Greg Morrow said the day was designed to raise community awareness about road safety and to encourage everyone to remember those who had been affected by road trauma.
“Emergency services go to all the accidents and are affected by them – we remember them and we thought why don’t we get the community to remember them,” Insp Morrow said.
“It’s important to keep getting the message out there and remember and be aware of those who have been lost.”
Mrs Jones said the initiative was important for the Warwick community as there had been many young people in the region taken too soon because of car accidents.
“It’s not only for the community, it helps the families so they can all get together... it’s good to be with people who know what you are going through,” she said.
Mrs Jones, who sadly also lost her nephew to a car crash last year, hopes the event will make people think about being more careful.
“It just takes a split second for something to happen. Look how close the boys were to getting home – it just takes a second,” she warned.
“It is better to stay somewhere and get home safe the next day. Just don’t do it – don’t take the risk.”
The day will haunt Mrs Jones forever when she found out her son was one of the passengers who did not make it and vividly recalls coming home from hospital to see the community gathered on their front lawn.
“We had flowers, cards and people with cooking and we didn’t even know who they were – the whole town was so good and helpful,” she said.
“It’s shocking – it’s something no parent wants to go through and I honestly don’t think I would survive if I lost another child... it’s something you never get over.”
Queensland Ambulance Service Acting Area Director Ian Thompson said today would be a good start in raising public awareness through their role as initial responders to emergences.
“It is a way for us to bring it back to the community, for them to start thinking it could happen to them,” Mr Thompson said.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Inspector Hemmo de Vries said they decided to hold Remember Day just before the mid-year school holidays to keep the road safety message fresh in the minds of the community.
“We are at the crossroads of a lot of highways and we have seen a lot of accidents,” Insp de Vries said.
“This is another strategy to remind people about road safety.”
As a part of the service a black wrist band with the word ‘Remember’ on it will be distributed to signify our emergency service crews’ commitment to remember those killed and injured as well as remembering to drive safely.
The initiative was a partnership between Warwick emergency services, Warwick Daily News and the Southern Downs Regional Council.
- Today from 9am a parade of emergency service vehicles will travel along Guy, Percy and Palmerin streets.
- From 9.15am a service at Leslie Park (centre area).
- A short service with speeches from Queensland Police Service Chaplain Jeff Baills, Inspector Greg Morrow and others, as well as a one-minute silence, with music by Warwick High School Band to follow.