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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
'Teenage drink-driver killed my son'
Gareth Evason, picture from Brake
Gareth was knocked down by his friend
As a survey reveals one in five teenagers has driven while under the influence of alcohol, a mother explains the horror of losing her son to a teenage drink-driver.

At 9.30 on a Sunday morning in May 1998, the police knocked at Jane Evason's door to deliver the news that her 19-year-old son had been fatally injured.

"I didn't register the word 'fatally' at first so I got my coat on. But we then had to wait to go to the mortuary to identify him."

Gareth had been found in a ditch, knocked down by a friend who was two-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit.

Jane Evason
We will never know what he could have accomplished
Jane Evason

The friends had been drinking in a club and had decided to head home on foot.

"For some unknown reason, his friend then got back into his car, drove down the lane," says Mrs Evason, from Wantage in Oxfordshire.

"Gareth hit the windscreen and ended up in a ditch. His friend drove on before hitting a taxi."

Police thought they were dealing with a road traffic accident until they found Gareth's body in a ditch.

"Gareth would do anything for anybody. At school he would get told off because he was helping people with their work," says Mrs Evason.

"Now we will never know what he could have accomplished."

Age change call

The friend driving the car was sentenced to four years' custody for causing death by careless driving under the influence of alcohol.

He spent a year in a young offenders' institution, two years in prison and one year on parole.

Mrs Evason says: "I am quite angry. He has been out years now, he has got his licence back.

"Gareth was due to take his driving test two weeks after he got killed, it's quite ironic," she adds.

Mrs Evason wants the driving age to be raised to 18 and backs road safety charity Brake's calls for licences to be passed in stages.

She also wants other teenagers to listen to her message: "Don't drink and drive and become a family like we are, without our son.

"We are part of a club that I don't want to be part of."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
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SEE ALSO
Driving age 'must increase to 18'
19 Jul 07 |  UK Politics

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