Group helps light the way for families of road crash victims
ELAINE Maxwell and Bernadette Murray lit a candle to remember their loved ones and others around the world who lost their lives to road traffic accidents to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Ms Maxwell (23), from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, lost her 16-year-old brother Daire, while Mrs Murray (36), from Longwood, Co Meath, lost her mother Ann Meenaghan (60).
While the circumstances of their tragedies were vastly different, the women are united in their grief and their quest to help others navigate the myriad legal and logistical complexities that arise following a road crash.
They are supporters of the PARC – Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Care on Our Roads – Road Safety Group, which yesterday launched 'Finding Your Way', a guide for victims following the death or serious injury of a loved one in a road accident.
The guide provides clear and concise help for the bereaved and accident survivors, and addresses such difficult issues as identifying the body and attending an inquest.
Mrs Murray's mother Ann went missing on her way to evening Mass in Sligo town on March 8, 2009, after a heavy hail storm.
A massive search was launched by her family, which ended in tragedy when one of her five sisters found their mother's car overturned on a remote road and her fatally injured.
"The hospital was great but there was nobody to tell you what you had to do, what services were there to support you," she said.
Ms Maxwell had a similar experience when her only brother Daire was struck by a car that drove into the passenger side of a milk truck during a delivery in May 2007. The driver of the other car also died.
"The only thing that goes through your mind is the hurt. You don't think about inquests or going to solicitors," she said.
The free guide, which will be available at garda stations, churches and other contact points, gives a guide to dealing with the aftermath of an accident.
The guide is also available through PARC's website at www.parcroadsafety.ie.