The Road Victims Trust- a registered charity that supports all people affected by a road death in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire- is proud to announce the appointment of Kate Goldsmith to the role of Ambassador.
Kate’s 11 year old daughter, Aimee was killed instantly along with Tracy Houghton, 45, and her two sons Ethan, 13 and Joshua 11 on August 10th 2016 on the A34 dual-carriageway near Newbury when a heavy goods vehicle ploughed into the back of the car they were travelling in.
Kate’s 13 year old son Jake miraculously survived the crash but was left severely traumatised.
The lorry driver, Tomasz Kroker , was jailed for 10 years for causing the deaths by dangerous driving. At the time of the collision Kroker had been distracted by his mobile phone.
Following the collision Kate received the services of the Road Victims Trust. Through her Ambassadorial role Kate plans to continue to highlight the dangers of drivers who use their mobile phones, and to support the work of a small charity that provides its services to in excess of 500 people each year.
This is her story…
“The Road Victims Trust has supported me since August 2016 when the two vehicles in which my children were travelling, were involved in a crash with a lorry. My 11yr old daughter Aimee was killed instantly along with her friends Josh, Ethan and their mother Tracy.
My 13yr old son Jake miraculously survived but was left traumatised by the crash and deaths of Aimee and his best friend. Writing this one year on, I can see clearly now the difficult journey both Jake and I have travelled and how we have reached a “new normal” family life.
Frankly, I do not see how it could have been possible without the strength of support around us holding our hands every step of the way.
During the early weeks of the police investigation RVT Co-ordinator, Frances, kept in regular contact with me to help me digest the information shared by the Police FLO (Family Liaison Officer). She accompanied us the Police meeting held for all victim related family members. Imagine having to stay focused in such meetings whilst both grieving and worrying about your traumatised teenager waiting for you at home.
Simply having Frances attend with us, acting as our advocate, making notes, listening and asking questions was exactly what our family needed.
Another service RVT provides to me is the 1 hour a week counselling sessions in my own home. I won’t lie, I resisted at first, insisting I didn’t need (want) to talk to anyone. I would say “what’s the point, it won’t change what’s happened?”
Indeed, it didn’t change what happened, but later I came to realise that this isn’t what having counselling gives to you. In my experience, counselling has allowed me to explore and discover who I really am and what I am to my family.
To this day I still discover something new each session and understand better why I do, feel and act as I do has helped me lift the weight of other issues which were compounded by the loss of Aimee.
As a family, we have consciously made the decision for our personal tragedy to not define who we are and instead channel our love of Aimee into positive action which will lead to reducing the risks of fatal road collisions and also ensure the support we received continues for others when it’s needed.
Like many of you, I’ve read stories before like mine and felt empathy, but as life dictates we move on to the next conversation or job to do giving it no further thought. We all like to believe, “This happens to other people, not me or anyone I know”. Sadly, more and more people tell me their own tragic stories, losing loved ones to distracted drivers. Every day we hear another M1, A5, A1 accident on the radio; Roads we use every day and pure chance we weren’t there when it happened.
Another driver passes us on the road looking at their phone and not the road. Reality is that the chances of this happening to someone else has now shifted to “this might happen to me”.
In memory of Aimee and to continue to protect Jake’s future I will strive to do anything I can to reduce that growing risk on our roads and working towards ensuring the RVT are fully supported as a charity so they may continue providing strength and support to us when we need it.”
Speaking about the appointment, Chief Executive of the Road Victims Trust, Mark Turner said “ It is impossible not to be inspired by the sheer courage and determination of Kate. We are honoured to have her as an Ambassador as we continue to provide a unique service to those bereaved by road death”
Evey year the Road Victims Trust holds a Service of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
Sunday 19th November 2017 at 3.00pm
St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SQ
The service is part of the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims and will include a performance by the Vauxhall Male Voice Choir concluding with light refreshments.
All are welcome.
More information about the charity at http://www.rvtrust.org.uk