‘Younger drivers are not invincible’

Roseanna Cooper
Roseanna Cooper
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The families of tragic youths killed on Fylde coast roads today threw their support behind a new safety campaign.

The mother of Elysia Ashworth – a talented 17-year-old student, who died after the car she was travelling in hit a tree on Division Lane, in Marton – spoke out at the start of Road Safety Week in a bid to warn young drivers about the dangers on the roads.

Elysia Ashworth

Elysia Ashworth

Maxine Ashworth, from St Annes, whose daughter was a passenger in a Vauxhall Corsa which crashed on July 11, said: “(The crash) has destroyed everything. It has ripped our family apart. Something inside me has died and it’s never going to come back.

“Young people think they are invincible. They have to stop and think – it’s not just about your competency at driving, it’s the road surfaces, other people and the conditions.

“There should be limitations on engine size for first time drivers and I think taking your test at 17 should be re-evaluated.”

Tragically, Elysia was not the only youngster to be killed on Fylde coast roads this year.

Teenager Lydia Taylor-Harrison, from Stalmine, died on August 31, in Blackpool Victoria Hospital, a day after a crash involving a motorbike.

The 18-year-old former Saint Aidan’s Church of England Technology College pupil was the pillion passenger on a Honda motorbike which was in collision with a Nissan Micra on Rawcliffe Road, Out Rawcliffe.

Roseanna Cooper, of Dinmore Avenue, Grange Park, was one of seven people in a yellow MG ZR car when it crashed into a wall on Fleetwood Road in Anchorsholme. The 21-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene on June 7.

Her friend, Nathan Weston, 23, of South Shore, was also a passenger and sadly died in September as a result of his injuries.

Roseanna’s grandmother Barbara Taylor, from Bispham, said: “It is still raw. It would have been Roseanna’s birthday on Saturday. She would have been 22.

“Young people on the roads need to take advice. They need to wear seat belts – we don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

The theme of this year’s Road Safety Week, which runs until Sunday is ‘Too Young To Die’.

Lancashire Road Policing Insp Kev Otter said: “We are reminding drivers to take extra caution on the roads and ensure their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

“Motorists should make sure their vehicle is in good working order in terms of tyres, brakes and overall repair. They should ensure lights are working and headlights are set correctly, washer bottles are full, wipers are working correctly and that windscreens are clear of ice and condensation.”

Police have now completed the investigation following Elysia Ashworth’s death.

PC Adam Lloyd, from Blackpool road policing unit, said: “The collision investigation and file has been completed and will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who will make a decision on whether there will be any prosecution against the driver.”

The driver of the MG ZR involved in the Fleetwood Road crash – a 20-year-old man from Pilling – was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous death and drink driving.

He has been bailed until December 7.