A powerful road safety film telling the story of a young girl who was killed in a road traffic collision has been launched.
Olivia’s Story tells the tale of 17-year-old Olivia Alkir from Ruthin, who was tragically killed on the B5105 in Ruthin in June 2019 following a collision whereby two young drivers were racing.
Olivia was travelling in a red coloured Ford Fiesta with two other girls when the driver lost control on a bend at 72mph and hit an oncoming car head-on. The 17-year-old driver had ignored pleas to slow down. Olivia, who was sitting in the back seat, received massive internal injuries at impact and tragically died at the scene. Two of her friends suffered life changing injuries.
Working with Olivia’s parents, family and friends and after securing funding through collaborative working involving North Wales Police and partners, a film and supporting lessons have been produced which will be shown to school pupils right across Wales as part of the national *SchoolBeat programme.
Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “Olivia’s Story is truly heart breaking and this powerful film aims to help educate young people about the importance of staying safe on the road.
“Sadly young drivers are much more likely to be involved in road traffic collisions, often due to inexperience and a lack of knowledge on the risks. The film will target new or pre-drivers and aims to help them be aware of their responsibilities and of the devastating consequences that can occur.
“This collision had a devastating effect of Olivia’s family and friends. The tragic circumstances surrounding the collision and the fact that Olivia lost her life that afternoon was felt throughout the whole community of Ruthin.
“We are so grateful to Olivia’s parents who have allowed us to tell her story in such a powerful way and one in which will be told to pupils right across Wales.”
Mannon Williams, SchoolBeat Coordinator on behalf of North Wales Police said: “With some of our officers having witnessed first-hand the effect Olivia’s passing had on the school and young people in the community, we firmly believed that our road safety lesson needed to be updated to highlight the story of Olivia Alkir to try and save young lives in the future.
“The lesson has already been successfully trialled in some schools across the region and the feedback has been overwhelming. We are now ready to launch across all secondary schools across Wales.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “Road safety is a hugely important issue for all of us and I am determined that North Wales should have some of the safest roads in the UK.
“It’s crucial we share the message of safer driving with young people, who are often either about to learn to drive or have recently passed their tests, and Olivia’s Story is a powerful and moving way of sharing this message with young drivers.
“Olivia’s Story is a result of a tragic loss for a family and community, but may help ensure no other families or communities experience this same awful loss. I’d like to pay tribute to Olivia’s family and friends for taking part in the film and for sharing both their message of loss, as well as the lessons that we should all learn to stay safe on the road.”
Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Docx, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are proud to be part of telling Olivia’s Story to help educate young drivers about dangers on the road.
“Our work as a Fire and Rescue Service does not just involve tackling house fires - we attend a high number of road traffic collisions and work tirelessly with partner agencies to help educate drivers about the potentially fatal consequences of speeding or not paying attention while driving.
“It is well documented that young drivers aged 16-24 are disproportionately likely to be casualties in road traffic collisions. In Wales, this age group makes up 11 per cent of the population but 22 per cent of all casualties.
“Our heartfelt thanks go to Olivia’s family for allowing us to share her story to help educate school children across Wales.”