Derbyshire: Mum lucky to live after ‘killer road’ smash

Road safety campaigner, Rebecca Carline who was involved in a road traffic accident at Kelstedge.
Road safety campaigner, Rebecca Carline who was involved in a road traffic accident at Kelstedge.

A mother is thanking her ‘lucky stars’ she is alive after becoming the latest victim of a notorious ‘killer road’ that she campaigned to make safer.

Rebecca Carline, of Westedge Close, Kelstedge, was on her way to pick up her five–year–old son from school when her Ford Focus car was stuck from behind by a van on the A623 Chesterfield Road at Kelstedge.

She said: “Over the years there have been lots of accidents on that road – they call it the ‘killer road’.”

On her way back from work at the Willersley Castle Hotel, in Cromford, Rebecca was turning into Kelstedge from Chesterfield Road.

“I can remember coming home turning right at the junction and I was just happened to glance in my mirror and I could see this van coming towards me,” she said.

“Because I knew the crash was going to happen I tensed myself up. It banged the car up the road onto the grass verge.”

The back of Rebecca’s car was crushed and she was trapped inside.

She had to be cut out of the remains of the vehicle by firefighters before being taken to hospital for treatment

“I just feel very lucky that I escaped death,” Rebecca said. “If my little boy had been in the car it would have been fatal.”

She said the crash has taken its toll on her confidence.

“I’m traumatised by it,” she explained.

“I keep on having flash backs from it – it’s really knocked by confidence.”

Rebecca has been left with severe whiplash following the accident and is off work as a result.

“I have got people helping me look after my little boy at the moment as I am a single mum,” she said.

The Kelstedge stretch of the road has claimed numerous lives over the last few years, including Daniel Green and Jamie Lynch, who died there in May this year.

Teenagers Connor Short and Liam Chapman – who were friends with Rebecca’s son – died following an accident on the road in September 2012.

Shortly after this, Rebecca teamed up with friend and fellow Kelstedge resident Margaret Renshaw to campaign for road safety measures to be put in place there.

The pair managed to collect around 1,000 signatures on a petition to Derbyshire County Council, which resulted in signs being put up by Spike Winter on the Flying Mile, warning drivers of turning traffic – but Rebecca does not think this is enough.

“I just feel it needs a speed camera or there will be more and more deaths,” she added.

“I thank my lucky stars I’m alive and I am very grateful my little boy wasn’t in the car, but something needs to be done to make the road safer.”

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