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Emotional plea from parents of Evey Staley, 10, to stop people drink driving
6:00am Monday 9th December 2013 in Crime
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.
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.
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