Emotional plea from parents of Evey Staley, 10, to stop people drink driving

Daily Echo: Neal and Penny Staley Neal and Penny Staley

The heartbroken parents of a young girl killed in a car crash caused by a drink and drug driver have opened their hearts about the tragedy in a bid to deter others from getting behind the wheel under the influence.

Neal and Penny Staley, the parents of ten-year-old Evey, have bravely decribed the horrifying moments after the collision – and the devastating impact it has had on their lives.

Evey’s death is the focus of Hampshire Constabulary’s Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign called Is It Worth The Risk?

As reported, the Staley family were driving to the shops to buy sprinkles when their car was hit by Robert Blakeley, who was two and a half times over the drink-drive limit and had been smoking cannabis.

The crash was witnessed by Evey’s sister Ellie, 14, who was watching from her bedroom window yards away from the incident.

Daily Echo: Evey Staley

Blakeley was jailed for ten years but the Staley’s have had to overcome serious injuries, and go through every day without their daughter.

Now Neal and Penny have revealed how their lives have been changed forever in a series of hard-hitting interviews to hammer home the message behind the force’s campaign.

Neal, who suffered a broken pelvis, fractured ribs and vertebrae, and massive bruising across his body, described the moments after the crash, in Newport on the Isle of Wight.

He said: “The first instinct for me was to get my belt off and try to open the driver’s door. I couldn’t do that, it was absolutely jammed shut, and I remember slumping back into my seat.

“At that point I was aware of Penny, who was making the most kind of horrendous moaning noises, which still stays with me now. I remember holding her hand and telling her to stay with me.

“I don’t remember any noise from the back, and then I must have slipped in and out of consciousness. I remember telling the guys tending to me to look after Evey first.”

Neal spent a month in hospital and had to use a wheelchair in the months after the collision, as the family faced up to the death of young Evey.

He added: “It’s quite a tough thing to get your head around – the fact this one incident can have such an impact on a family.

“It’s the little things that set you back, not the major things that set you back or upset you. “We could have had Ellie in the car as well, we could have lost both of them, we could have lost all of us. That’s what it looked like when people were first on the scene.

“We lost Evey and we take a crumb of comfort knowing she went pretty much killed instantaneously and that she didn’t suffer, but why be so selfish to put a family in that position? “We will be like this for the rest of our lives. We cry every day and have done since the crash, and I can’t see that stopping.”

If you suspect someone is drink or drug driving, call 101 or 99 in an emergency. You can also text 80999 anonymously.

Comments (8)

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8:37am Mon 9 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger.
Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless.
The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger. Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless. Dai Rear

8:51am Mon 9 Dec 13

WECOMING4U says...

So tragic. I just hope if possible they can rebuild their lives.
So tragic. I just hope if possible they can rebuild their lives. WECOMING4U

8:57am Mon 9 Dec 13

Charlie Bucket says...

"Getting behind the wheel under the influence?"

Can we not pussyfoot around, please? Call it what it is: drink-driving.
"Getting behind the wheel under the influence?" Can we not pussyfoot around, please? Call it what it is: drink-driving. Charlie Bucket

10:22am Mon 9 Dec 13

jen1 says...

My heart goes out to this family, I cannot imagine the pain that they live with. However it could have been anyone of us and it may well be next time because the sentences for crimes such as these are so unjust. Blakeley should be locked away for life, or preferably strung up for murder because he has committed murder.

There is no fear of the consequences of crime any more
My heart goes out to this family, I cannot imagine the pain that they live with. However it could have been anyone of us and it may well be next time because the sentences for crimes such as these are so unjust. Blakeley should be locked away for life, or preferably strung up for murder because he has committed murder. There is no fear of the consequences of crime any more jen1

1:14pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

jen1 wrote:
My heart goes out to this family, I cannot imagine the pain that they live with. However it could have been anyone of us and it may well be next time because the sentences for crimes such as these are so unjust. Blakeley should be locked away for life, or preferably strung up for murder because he has committed murder.

There is no fear of the consequences of crime any more
I think maybe you're being a little unfair on the authorities. Within the last decade this offence carried a maximum of 6 months-for the drink driving. The consequences of the carelessness were not relevant. I suspect you'll find that that remains the situation in most other countries , though in the US the number of times you'd been caught dui could make it a felony rather than a misdemeanour.
[quote][p][bold]jen1[/bold] wrote: My heart goes out to this family, I cannot imagine the pain that they live with. However it could have been anyone of us and it may well be next time because the sentences for crimes such as these are so unjust. Blakeley should be locked away for life, or preferably strung up for murder because he has committed murder. There is no fear of the consequences of crime any more[/p][/quote]I think maybe you're being a little unfair on the authorities. Within the last decade this offence carried a maximum of 6 months-for the drink driving. The consequences of the carelessness were not relevant. I suspect you'll find that that remains the situation in most other countries , though in the US the number of times you'd been caught dui could make it a felony rather than a misdemeanour. Dai Rear

2:44pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Reality-man says...

My grandad was killed by a drink driver, a once proud man who had his dignity taken away from him, who suffered 6 months in agony in a hospital bed. Who started to recover from his broken arms, legs, pelvis etc. Only to suffer a heart attack and die in his hospital bed before he was due to make it home. Because my grandad was 'old' it was judged that he could have had a heart attack at any time, so they couldn't blame the man who ran him over as he crossed the road for his death. The driver who killed my grandad received a two year ban a few hundred pound fine. Whilst I completely understand the tragic death of a 10 year old with their whole life ahead of them being used as a deterrent there are families suffering no matter what age the victim is. There should be a much higher price to pay if you are caught drink driving
My grandad was killed by a drink driver, a once proud man who had his dignity taken away from him, who suffered 6 months in agony in a hospital bed. Who started to recover from his broken arms, legs, pelvis etc. Only to suffer a heart attack and die in his hospital bed before he was due to make it home. Because my grandad was 'old' it was judged that he could have had a heart attack at any time, so they couldn't blame the man who ran him over as he crossed the road for his death. The driver who killed my grandad received a two year ban a few hundred pound fine. Whilst I completely understand the tragic death of a 10 year old with their whole life ahead of them being used as a deterrent there are families suffering no matter what age the victim is. There should be a much higher price to pay if you are caught drink driving Reality-man

2:46pm Mon 9 Dec 13

derek james says...

Dai Rear wrote:
The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger.
Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless.
don't know where you got your info from, but on the DOT statistics it shows a clear majority of drink drivers are from younger age groups rapidly tailing off in the 40 plus groups
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger. Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless.[/p][/quote]don't know where you got your info from, but on the DOT statistics it shows a clear majority of drink drivers are from younger age groups rapidly tailing off in the 40 plus groups derek james

5:09pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Inform Al says...

derek james wrote:
Dai Rear wrote:
The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger.
Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless.
don't know where you got your info from, but on the DOT statistics it shows a clear majority of drink drivers are from younger age groups rapidly tailing off in the 40 plus groups
Have to agree, I'm 69 and have had a rule for a few years now, No driving within 24 hours of drinking, even for only 1 pint. This means I am near enough teetotal as I have to use my car to help elderly friends most days. I am a great supporter of random breath teasting, and would willingly comply if stopped and asked to blow in the contraption.
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: The problem is that the "average" drink driver is an older man or woman driving a newish car, who is unlikely to identify him or herself with Blakeley, a druggie, driving an old banger. Perhaps what needs to be hammered home is that Blakeley got 10 years for CARELESS driving and that any of them, driving home from the pub or restaurant after 3 or 4 pints or big glasses of Chardy, could easily be careless.[/p][/quote]don't know where you got your info from, but on the DOT statistics it shows a clear majority of drink drivers are from younger age groups rapidly tailing off in the 40 plus groups[/p][/quote]Have to agree, I'm 69 and have had a rule for a few years now, No driving within 24 hours of drinking, even for only 1 pint. This means I am near enough teetotal as I have to use my car to help elderly friends most days. I am a great supporter of random breath teasting, and would willingly comply if stopped and asked to blow in the contraption. Inform Al

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