Jackson Family Heartache
A son, brother and best friend killed in high speed crash
Tragedy shakes Bathurst community
Timmy, William and Rachel managed to crawl out of the wreckage with minor injuries and dial the ambulance. "They arrived about six minutes after I got out," Rachel said in an interview, "it took them forever to remove the crushed metal that had trapped Daniel and Caitlin."
Once the car was dismantled, it was confirmed that Daniel Jackson had died on impact while Caitlin Roberts was in a critical condition.
"I couldn't believe it when they came to the door, the police," Helen Jackson, Daniel's mother insisted, "I kept pinching myself. It was impossible to think that only a few hours before, Daniel had laughed and joked with me. It was impossible to think that my baby was no longer with me."
After intense police investigation, it was confirmed that speeding was the cause of the accident and Timmy Reynolds was charged with involuntary manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. Caitlin Roberts is a paraplegic in result of the crash and all four friends suffer from PTSD. "It's stupid. It's really stupid. The whole speeding thing." Timmy said. "Daniel's life was worth more than my stupidity. Sometimes, I wish it were me."
The community grieved the loss of a young boy with a prosperous future although the sorrow did not end there. Helen and Fred Jackson (Daniel's parents) lead the Keep Our Youth Off the Roads program that was strongly backed by members of the Bathurst community. The Mayor shortly stated that the belief of the town was that the licensing process should be longer and the children should be drilled with the consequences of Road stupidity regularly at schools.
Although the Jacksons still grieve for their lost son, they believe in the effects of their program and wish to improve road fatalities one small country town at a time. "We're doing this for Daniel and Caitlin who have both suffered because of preventable accidents on the road," Jenny Jackson said (Daniel's sister), "while this will never bring our Danny back, we recognize that it could stop families from feeling the piercing hole in our hearts that we feel every day since Daniel's death."
The Keep Our Youth Off the Roads program has appeared in many schools across Australia's rural areas although has hopes of expanding further into the city.