Ipswich: Inspirational sister honoured

A WOMAN who channelled her grief into a road safety campaign following the death of her younger sister has been commended for her work.

Michelle Luetchford was rewarded for her tireless dedication to Brake at the road safety charity’s annual awards ceremony, held at the Houses of Parliament.

Described by the group’s campaigns director Julie Townsend as “commendable and inspiring”, she began raising awareness of road safety as she grieved for the loss of her sister Emma Harold.

Miss Harold was killed when a car mounted the pavement in Foxhall Road, Ipswich on February 21, 2009.

Friend Kate Wasyluk also died in the crash and Michelle and Emma’s other sister, Beccy Harold, was seriously injured and suffered bruising to the brain.

The driver of the car which hit the girls, Scott Nicholls, 20, was jailed for eight years after admitting causing the deaths by dangerous driving.

The crash sent shock waves through the community but instead of being consumed by grief, Ms Luetchford focused her efforts on raising awareness of road safety issues and since November 2009 she has raised �8,000 for Brake.

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Through charity events – from parachute jumps to family treasure hunts and music nights – she has proved her relentless commitment to increasing safety on Britain’s roads.

She has also worked as a spokeswoman for the organisation and used her sisters’ story to educate young drivers.

Speaking of her work for Brake, she said she was motivated by the memory of Miss Harold and Ms Wasyluk.

“It is devastating to lose a family member and close friend in such an unnecessary and violent way,” she said.

“I’m proud to be supporting Brake’s work to stop other families going through this heartbreak, and to care for families who have been affected by a tragic death or injury on the roads.”

Ms Townsend labelled Ms Luetchford “a worthy award winner” for her determination to raise the awareness of the dangers of speeding.

“Without the tremendous efforts of volunteers like Michelle, Brake would not be able to continue its work to support those bereaved and injured by crashes,” she said.

“I would urge everyone to listen to Michelle’s story and pledge to drive safely,” she added.

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