On the first anniversary of her husband Bob's death, Lorraine Allaway tells about the day he was killed by a drink driver and the effect it has had on her life.
It was October 3, 2015. My family had gathered together in Settle, our local town, for breakfast because my sister was dying of cancer and we had expected her to pass away on that day.
It was lunchtime before we decided to head back to my sister's. Bob (46) usually got home from work midday Saturdays. As we got into our car, my nephew turned up and said that he did not know how we were going to get back as the road was closed due to an accident and paramedics were working on a man who had been knocked over on a yellow bike.
I heard the words "yellow bike" and my world came crashing down. It was the colour of Bob's bike. I frantically rang and texted Bob but I couldn't get hold of him, at that point I suspected the worst.
We set off towards the roundabout on the A65 at Cleatop where the road had been closed. My nephew spoke to a policeman at the scene who confirmed that it was my husband who had been involved in the accident. He told us not to go down there but I thought "I'm going. I don't know what kind of injuries my husband's got, he might want me to hold his hand". That's all I wanted to do. It just didn't click into my head the reason they wouldn't let me down to him. The policeman then had to break the news that my husband had gone and at that point my world fell apart.
The police drove me to my sister's house first so that I could let her know that I wouldn't be there for when she passed away. I then went home and sat on my own. I was only in the house 15 minutes when my brother came and said my sister had died - one hour after Bob.
The driver was 2 ½ times over the drink-drive limit when he hit and killed my husband and was sentenced to four years and eight months. In 2 ½ years he's going to be free, but we've got a lifetime. We're not able to celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries and Christmases in the way we would've done. This year was my first birthday without Bob, his first birthday since his death and our wedding anniversary. We would've been married 10 years.
"I never got to say goodbye"
Since Bob's death I spend most of my time indoors. It's too much trouble to go anywhere because I'm registered disabled and Bob was my carer so he had to do everything for me. Now I've become housebound. My life has pretty much come to a stop. I'm sad. I'm miserable. I don't want to be sad and miserable for the rest of my life but I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. We had a bucket list to visit places like the Victoria and Albert Museum and Norway. I don't know how I'm going to manage it on my own.
After the sentence I decided that I was going to change the law and have set up a petition calling for tougher sentences for drivers who kill other road users while drunk or drugged. The petition is the only thing that's keeping me sane.
People don't think about the consequences, about the trauma people have to go through seeing their loved ones in the chapel of rest. Bob suffered multiple injuries in the accident and died at the scene. There was a big dent in his skull. His nose was broken. He had cuts to his eyes. He also had other substantial injuries down the side of his body where he had been hit by the car.
It broke my heart to see him in the chapel of rest because it cemented the fact that he wasn't coming back home and that he wasn't going to come through the door anymore. When Bob walked through the door the first thing he said was "ta-da!" now I don't even get that.
Bob was the life and soul of the party. Everyone would say "once seen, never forgotten". He held a lot of charity events and would dress up as Freddie Mercury just to get a laugh out of people.
Every time Bob left the house he would tell me that he loved me but that Saturday morning he left me in bed to sleep because my sister was dying. I never got to say goodbye. Never got to say "love you, see you tonight".
I have to drive past the scene of the accident everyday when going to and from work. I blow a kiss and say "love you". On the way back I say "love you, see you tomorrow".
This year has been the worst year of my life. I would say to anyone who drinks and drives or who is considering it, just don't do it. If you see your friend about to do it, take the keys off them because that will save someone going through what I have. Make sure you are sober before you get behind the wheel.
Click here for Lorraine's petition.
Posted: 10/3/2016 9:51:09 AM