The heartbroken parents of a talented teenager who died in horror crash are urging everyone to watch a powerful video about their daughter in the hope of saving lives.
Olivia Akir was just 17-years-old when her life was ‘torn away in an instant’ in smash caused by two friends racing each other in June 2019.
Now, her parents Jo and Mesut Alkir are hoping their tragic daughter’s legacy will help improve road safety, with the release of a video every parent and child should see.
Olivia was in the backseat of 17-year-old Edward Ryan’s Fiesta as he recklessly sped down roads while racing friend Thomas Henry Quick, the Liverpool Echo reports.
The pair had been caught driving dangerously hours before the accident by dash cams and “playing Russian roulette with their passengers’ lives” – despite desperate pleas for them to slow down.
Bell had only passed his driving test the day before and was due to have a black box fitted on his car the next day.
Bell and Quick were jailed for five years for death by dangerous driving.
Olivia was described as “living life to the full” before tragedy struck, leaving her family, friends and the community devastated.
‘Olivia’s Story’ will now be rolled out across schools and to young drivers as part of a campaign to save young lives.
Olivia’s mum Jo said: “As a tribute to Olivia, I want people to use the day to have a conversation – parent to child or even child to child. If you’ve got a friend who drives badly please talk to them.
“Some parents seem to think getting the best or fastest car for their child is the right thing to do when it’s not. It’s feeding their ego.
“You cannot change the red mist that comes over when a boy gets behind the wheel of a car so you have to take away the risk and opportunity by having a black box and only allowing them to carry one passenger for the first one. Other countries have this in place.
“Driving is a skill that requires focus and respect. If one conversation can save a life then we’ve done a good job and will work with the police to keep spreading our message – this beautiful, intelligent, wonderful girl that could have gone far was an innocent victim in a race between two egos.”
Olivia’s Story was launched at Cineworld earlier this week in partnership with North Wales Police and will be shown across Wales as part of the SchoolBeat programme.
Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “Olivia’s story is truly heart breaking and this powerful film aims to help educate young people about the importance of staying safe on the roads.
“Sadly young drivers are more likely to be involved in road traffic collisions, often due to inexperience and lack of knowledge on the risks. The film will target new, or pre-drivers and aims to help them be aware of their responsibilities and the devastating consequences that can occur.
“This collision had a devastating effect on Olivia’s family and friends. The tragic circumstances surrounding the collision and the fact that Olivia lost her life that afternoon was felt throughout the whole community of Ruthin.
“We are so grateful to Olivia’s parents who have allowed us to tell her story in such a powerful way, and in one which will be told to pupils right across Wales.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin added: “Olivia’s story is a result of a tragic loss for a family and community, but may help ensure no other families or communities experience the same awful loss.
“I’d like to pay tribute to Olivia’s family and friends for taking part in the film and for sharing both, their message of loss, as well as the lessons that we should all learn to stay safe on the roads.”
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