New Scheme Launched At Secondary School In Memory Of Teenager Who Died in Road Accidents

THE City of Ely Community College launched a new driver safety scheme this week to honour the memory of two students who died in road traffic accidents. The scheme, which was launched at the college on Tuesday, was set up in memory of former students Sara

THE City of Ely Community College launched a new driver safety scheme this week to honour the memory of two students who died in road traffic accidents.

The scheme, which was launched at the college on Tuesday, was set up in memory of former students Sarah Oldham, 17 and Samantha Clarke, 18, both of whom died as the result of accidents on the road during the past year.

Dozens of students attended the event where they were given talks from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and BSM in a bid to increase their awareness of the dangers of driving.

Students also had the opportunity to sit in a Formula 1 racing car and were able to try their hand at driving with 'beer goggles' in a full-sized simulator.

A local mechanic talked to the students about keeping their car in good condition and they also heard 27-year-old campaigner Nick Bennett talk about his experiences having himself been involved in a car accident that left him with brain damage.

Statistics show that nationally the 17-25 year old age road user group is the highest represented in the KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured), and locally 65 people were killed in road accidents in East Cambridgeshire over the past year.

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17-year-old Sarah Oldham, died in January 2009 after the car she was travelling in left the road and collided with an electricity pole on the A142 in Mepal. The Sutton teenager was studying for her A Levels at the sixth form college.

Little Downham-teenager Samatha Clarke died in October after her car was involved in a collision on the B1141 road between Ely and Little Downham. The 18-year-old was in intensive care for two weeks at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but failed to recover from her injuries.

To honour the memory of the two girls, students planted a memorial tree in front of the sixth-form college and released 65 balloons to remember all those who were killed in road accidents in the district, two of which were white in memory of the teenagers who died.

Kate Hopkinson, who helped organise the event for students, said: "I had a lot of students coming through my door who were really keen to get involved with various aspects of the scheme and that was really encouraging.

"It was a very exciting day and there was lots going on for the students to take part in and learn from. It was nice to have been able to remember the two girls with a fitting tribute.

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