Brother of teen killed in horror crash to run marathon for road safety charity

Brother of teen killed in horror crash to run marathon for road safety charity

Gunner Ashley Samways, right, and gunner Adam Dennehy are running the London Marathon in memory of Ashley’s sister Tash and to help road safety charity Brake

Tash Samways

First published in News Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by

THE brother of a teenage girl killed in a high-speed crash is campaigning to prevent other families suffering similar heartache.

Tash Samways, 17, from Bridport, died at the scene of the accident on the B3157 Weymouth to Bridport coast road at Langton Herring on January 20, 2011.

Her brother Ashley, and his best friend Adam Dennehy, are now supporting the road safety charity Brake to raise awareness of dangerous driving and its devastating consequences.

The family are still struggling to cope with the popular teenager’s death but Ashley believes it is now time to mark her memory by some pro-active campaigning.

The driver James Griffiths, who was 22 at the time of the crash, was sentenced to four and a half years for causing death by dangerous driving.

Although experts calculated he was not over the legal alcohol limit witnesses saw him drinking three pints and a shot. He was also said to have been driving at high speed.

During sentencing, Judge Roger Jarvis told Griffiths : “It is plain that you were considerably in excess of a safe speed and the jury have found that you were driving dangerously.

“It is important that drivers, particularly young male drivers, really understand their responsibility when they are at the wheel of a car.

“The consequences here are both tragic and appalling and there is a price to pay and you have to pay it.”

Ashley said: “He is out in April and that will be hard. I will try not to go home at that time because I know he is going to be released. I haven’t forgiven him and I probably never will.

“It didn’t need to happen.”

Tash’s stepmother Lillian Sweet said she and Tash’s father Colin were proud of the boys.

She said: “It is a nice way to remember Tash and we are 100 per cent behind them. But we are still struggling.”

Ashley and Adam, both gunners in the Dragons troop 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, stationed at Catterick, want to raise £6,500 for Brake by running in next year’s London marathon.

The charity campaigns for all aspects of road safety, as well as drink driving and supporting the families and victims suffering from the aftermath of a crash.

Ashley said: “One of Adam’s mates got run over by a drink driver and that ended his career so that is part of his motivation too.”

Adam said: “Ashley’s sister was tragically killed in a car accident. This is another sad case where the loss of an innocent life could have been saved.

“We want to help combat and promote against dangerous driving and raise money for Brake so they can continue to promote our cause.”

Even with the bitterness and devastating effect of Tash’s death, brother Ashley, who was born a year before Tash to the day, says there have been positives.

He said: “It was very hard to start with but as time goes by it has eased a little bit but it is still not easy to deal with.

“It was such a bad thing but so many good things have come from it in a way.

“I have become able to talk to more people and get to know more people through it. And her death brought people together.”

Ashley and Adam were both in Afghanistan in 2012 – a tour that was deferred a year because of Tash’s death.

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