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Grieving dad backs road safety scheme

Thursday 13th August 2015

A BEREAVED father from Coxheath, whose 19-year-old son died in a car crash, has spoken out in support of the UK’s only interactive road safety education centre, which is due to open in Rochester next year.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s (KFRS) innovative Road Safety Experience is under construction in Marconi Way, near Rochester Airport, along with a new fire station.

Peter Funnell, whose son Will was killed in August 2013, has already shared his account of losing his son in a short video for KFRS.

Mr Funnell, from Pembroke Road, Coxheath, said: "Our world was ripped apart the moment our blue-eyed boy was taken from us and a huge void now exists for my wife and I, as well as our family and friends.

"Will was a beautiful person, of whom we were immensely proud. He had everything to live for, but on that terrible night his life was cut so suddenly short.”

Will was returning from a night out when the vehicle he was travelling in as a front-seat passenger spun out of control at the foot of Linton Hill. The car - believed to have been travelling at over 80 miles per hour at the time - careered into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and the impact killed both Will and the vehicle’s 21-year-old driver instantly.

The aim of the Road Safety Experience is to create a visitor centre specifically focused on activities that will contribute, alongside key multi-agency campaigns, to a reduction in the disproportionately high number of young people killed and seriously injured on the roads in Kent and Medway.

Mr Funnell said: “I would encourage every parent, school and college in Kent and Medway to make visiting Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Experience an essential activity for the young people in their care.

"It has been designed to hit home the potentially devastating impact that a split second decision can have on their lives, as well as the lives of others around them.”

The experience will be free to all schools, colleges and organised groups in Kent and Medway and is specifically designed to appeal to young people aged 14 to 24, offering a unique learning opportunity to help them stay safer on our county’s roads.

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