Ann Moran and Garrett Doyle at the conference
IT WAS a bright, sunny summer's evening in 2001 when Garrett Doyle's life changed forever.
"I was a back-seat passenger in a car that crashed. There were three fatalities -- a friend of mine died, and a 14-year-old girl and her dad," said the 43-year-old, who is from Roscommon.
"I flew across the dual carriageway and landed in the hard shoulder. I suffered a serious brain injury and crush injuries -- I was dying on the spot. Nobody expected me to live," he added.
Harrowing stories of personal tragedy were heard at the Road Safety Authority annual conference in Dublin yesterday, where victims and their families shared their experiences.
They included Ann Moran, whose daughter Regina died just days before her 20th birthday, nine years ago.
From Westport, Co Mayo, Ms Moran spoke of how she was called to a hospital to find Regina connected to tubes and wires, "with her head, her beautiful face, encased in a red rubber block". She spent three days on life support before she died.
Joe Moore, from Athlone, Co Westmeath, suffered brain damage and serious injuries in a collision five years ago.
"I'm beginning to accept what happened to me now. I get a lot of pain in my legs and I can't concentrate, but I'm alright," he said.