A MUM has revealed heartbreak after her two children were killed in a horrific drink-drive car accident.
Sarah Pascoe-Hudson shared online how her world was left “bleak” when she lost her “beautiful” son Matthew, 12, and daughter Lucy, 10, when a stranger 3.5 times over the limit “smashed our world into tiny pieces”.
A mum has revealed her heartbreak at losing two of her children in a drink-drive accident[/caption]
The woman – in a warning shared to Facebook urging people not to take risks when they get behind the wheel this festive season – recalled the tragic events in July 1995 when she was forced to say goodbye to two of her three kids.
“They went to a football match with their dad one Summer evening in July 1996, and never came home,” wrote Sarah, alongside a photo of her with Matthew, Lucy and then two-year-old son Peter, taken two weeks before the fatal accident.
“The drunk driver hit the car they were in head-on. Matthew died instantly, and Lucy three hours later in surgery.
“Their friend Ben, died six days later in hospital. Their father was horribly injured but survived the accident…well, physically anyway, as memories never die.
In the few seconds that it took to veer off his side of the road, that drunk driver smashed our world into tiny pieces.
“The drunk driver was pronounced dead at the scene. My mum always said that he got away lightly.
“In the few seconds that it took to veer off his side of the road, that drunk driver smashed our world into tiny pieces.”
Sarah revealed how Peter’s “grief and confusion” about the disappearance of his siblings was “immense”.
She explained: “You can only tell a 2 year old the very basics, but the fact that he stopped talking for weeks, and carried around for months a little car that Matthew had given him that day, often watching and waiting at the window, told of his pain.”
What is the drink-driving limit in the UK?
The drink drive limit differs in the UK depending on if you are in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
Government guidelines state that the limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
In Scotland the limits are 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 22 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
With just 10mg per 100ml of blood you are 37 per cent more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than when sober.
The mum continued: “The next time I saw my dear, beautiful children was in 2 coffins side by side in the Chapel of Rest.
“The shock took away my ability to stand. How we managed to get through the funeral I will never know, but the many friends, family and schoolchildren that attended helped to give us strength.”
Sarah explained that at the inquest five months later the drink-driver was revealed to be a “wealthy, upstanding Plymouth businessman” who had a “longstanding penchant for drinking and driving”.
On the night of the accident he was 3.5 times over the drink driving limit.
Life became very quiet, all the energy was sucked out of the house where once my children had laughed and lived
“Life became very quiet, all the energy was sucked out of the house where once my children had laughed and lived,” Sarah continued.
“I held tight to my sanity only for my little boy, and we grieved together, and in our own way.”
She explained that Peter finally found his “peace” when he read all the newspaper clippings at the age of 15.
“It is a mistake to think that you can never be happy again – you can but in a different way, in a different world,” the mum added.
How can alcohol affect driving?
Your ability to drive safely with alcohol in your system is impaired as:
- The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye
- Processing information becomes more difficult
- Instructions to the body’s muscles are delayed resulting in slower reaction times
- Blurred and double vision may be experienced which affects your ability to see things clearly while driving
- You are more likely to take potentially dangerous risks because you can act on urges you normally repress
“I gave birth to baby Eliza 14 months after we lost Matthew and Lucy, and she brought joy and hope into our bleak world again.
“I laugh and cry, and experience life and have watched my children grow into wonderful, confident adults, and I glow with pride and wonder at how blessed I am.
“But Matthew and Lucy remain in our lives, in our thoughts and our hearts. Always loved, never forgotten.”
Sarah urged people to have a “blessed and safe Christmas” by not taking risks with alcohol and cars.
“Please do not put another family through this grief. Please do not be the cause of a lifetime of sorrow,” she concluded, before advising “designate a driver, take a taxi, walk to the party”.
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