Elber Twomey’s pain was etched on her face as she recalled the car crash that wiped out her family five years ago.
She is one of a number of people who took time out yesterday to help launch World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims that takes place on Sunday.
The Cork woman lost her husband, Con, 39, her son Oisín, 16 months, and her unborn baby daughter, Elber Marie, on July 6, 2012, when a suicidal taxi driver, Marek Wojciechowski, drove into their car during a family holiday in Devon.
“This Sunday is a big day for all of us who have lost close family members,” said Ms Twomey. “The day is to honour and remember those we have lost, but it is also to create an awareness that ordinary, beautiful people die needlessly every day on our roads.”
Asked how she is coping, Ms Twomey said she has tried to make sure her loved ones did not die without leaving their mark behind.
“I do think my beauties have left a mark — that changes have been made because they were here,” said Ms Twomey.
She also spoke of how she still gets cross when she sees bad driver behaviour.
“Such selfish drivers have no idea of the huge devastation they could cause,” she said.
Neil Fox, from Naul, Co Dublin, was also at the launch. His sister, Donna, 30, died from multiple traumatic injuries following a collision with a truck when cycling to work in Dublin on September 6, 2016.
Ms Fox drove to Whitehall with her bike and parked before cycling into the city. She worked in a pharmacy near Grand Canal Dock.
Mr Fox said he has done what he can since his sister’s death to highlight the importance of making the roads safe for cyclist.
“You just try and give back something because there is nothing else you can do,” he said.
His sister and her partner, Anne-Marie Ryan, who formally identified her body, had planned to get married sometime this year, though they had not set a date.
Chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, Moyagh Murdock, said it is the 11th year that World Day of Remembrance was commemorated in Ireland.
“It is a day of reflection for all of those impacted by road traffic collisions,” she said.
“We thank all of the families for coming to the launch because it can’t be easy. They are meeting people who have gone through the same pain, and it brings it all back.
“We often hear about the numbers killed or hurt on our roads, but these people are more than statistics, they are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers; they are friends, colleagues and part of communities. And we cannot forget that.”
Minister for Transport Shane Ross, said the campaign against road deaths is showing “modest signs” of success but there was no room for complacency and efforts must continue to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads.
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