Maher’s tragic story of road toll trauma

By Kyabram Free Press

LIFE is incredibly precious. And incredibly fragile.

No-one knows this better than John Maher.

His 18-year-old daughter got into a car one day to drop a friend at work and never came home.

Carmen had fallen asleep at the wheel having stayed up late, talking to her friend into the early hours of the morning. The decision to drive the next day came at a horrific cost as she ploughed into a tree at 100km/h.

And it’s not the only car accident that has left its mark on John’s life.

Just two years earlier, he was lucky to escape a terrible car crash which left the 18-year-old driver of the other car dead on the highway and John seriously injured. He was in recovery for three years, lost his job, and still suffers from the mental and physical injuries he endured.

But it was Carmen’s death, too young and with too much life ahead of her, that prompted John to educate young people on the dangers of driving and wake up to the consequences of seemingly insignificant decisions.

For the better part of the past 20 years, John has spoken to hundreds of thousands of students, asking them to put themselves in his shoes.

The phone calls he had to make after Carmen died.

The funeral arrangements.

The terrible depression.

Tomorrow, May 23, Carmen’s Road Safety Education is coming to Ky and the question isn’t whether you can go — it’s whether you can afford not to.

Motor vehicle accidents and associated deaths, injuries and trauma occur at a rate five times higher on Victoria’s regional roads compared to city areas.

It’s a statistic the Bendigo Community Bank want to see made history, and why they are sponsoring tomorrow night’s free event at the Ky Club from 6.30pm.

John will also be speaking at Kyabram P-12 College and St Augustine’s College.

For details and to RSVP, contact the Kyabram and District Community Bank Branch on (03) 5852 3099.