Police officers across the Hampshire Constabulary force will be wearing a purple ribbon this Christmas to remember everyone who has died as a result of drinking and driving, including an Island youngster who died following a serious road traffic collision near Cowes last year.
10-year-old Evey Staley, pictured, died from serious head injuries suffered in a side-on crash on Cowes Road in Northwood on the 24th August 2012. The vehicle she was travelling in, alongside her mum and dad, was involved in a collision as the family drove out of their driveway en-route to the shops – Drink driver Robert Blakely smashed into the vehicle changing the lives of the Staley family forever.
As Evey’s 14-year-old sister Ellie watched from the window of her upstairs bedroom, the family car was struck by another car travelling at speed. It was being driven by a man named Robert Blakely who was two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit and had been smoking the drug cannabis.
Evey’s parents, Penny and Neal, were both terribly injured in the crash, Penny losing consciousness straight away and Neal trapped in the driver’s seat and needing to be cut out by firefighters. Though seriously hurt, Neal had to make the decision to allow doctors to turn off Evey’s life support and permit her organs to be donated to people on the transplant list.
Evey has been described as just that kind of girl – loving and giving, and who would have wanted to help others, even in this most unbearable of circumstances. Purple was her favourite colour.
Drinking or taking drugs and driving devastates lives. By always remembering the victims of drinking and driving, it is hoped Hampshire Constabulary can work with the public to prevent anyone else from ever having to go through what Neal and Penny Staley endured.
Members of the public are urged to call 101 or text 80999 if you know of or suspect a drink driver.
This year, remember the victims of drink driving. It’s Not Worth The Risk.