Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Paralysis victim's crash despair


Stacey Williams is interviewed for a police anti drink-driving DVD

A teenager who was paralysed following a crash which killed three other teenagers has warned against the dangers of drinking and driving.

Stacey Williams, 18, of Bangor, Gwynedd, who is tetraplegic, said her life had been ruined by the crash, caused by a drink driver on Anglesey.

"Everything I'd hoped and wished for can't happen now," she said.

A video interview with her was screened at the launch of the Welsh drink-drive Christmas campaign.

Richard Brown, 24, of Newborough, Anglesey, was jailed for 10 years at Caernarfon Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Policeman breathalyses a motorist
Officers throughout Wales are committed to making our roads safer and will be conducting targeted patrols
Ian Shannon, North Wales Police

Rebecca Lee, 18, who was 14 weeks pregnant, triplet Elin Rowlands, 15, both of Bangor, and Clifford Jones, 17, from Malltraeth, died in the crash in February.

They had been in the back of Brown's Citroen C2 when he lost control and hit a tree on the A5 at Menai Bridge. Miss Williams was a front seat passenger and suffered life-threatening injuries.

The teenager and her father, Kevin Williams, talked about the impact the collision has had on her life in the video.

"All I can remember is screaming at my friend to put her seat belt on, and she couldn't find it," Miss Williams recalled about the moments before the crash.

"I was telling him to stop and to slow down, but he wasn't listening."

The teenager has remained in hospital since the incident, paralysed from the neck down.

Rebecca Lee, Ellie Chambers and Clifford Jones (left to right)
Rebecca Lee, Elin Rowlands and Clifford Jones died in the crash

She said she remembers waking up in a specialist unit in Liverpool.

"I can remember asking why my best friend hasn't come to see me. I didn't believe it. I still don't believe it to this day," she said.

"That's why I want to go to Wales to see the graves, because in my head I don't believe they are dead, it's not real to me."

Asked how the crash had changed her life, she said: "How hasn't it?

"Everything that I'd hoped and wished for and what I wanted to do can't happen now. It's ruined.

"My dream was to go in to the Army, and help the people who couldn't help themselves. I wanted to sign up."

Reflecting on what she hoped helping the campaign would achieve, she added: "I'd advise schools and stuff to teach people how to know if someone is drunk or drugged or anything.

"I never knew that anything was wrong with him [Brown]. He didn't act to me as drunk, drunk to me would be falling over, he was fine."

The interview was screened as the four Welsh police forces launched their annual Christmas drink-drive campaign with the assembly government, which runs throughout December.

'Small minority'

Family members of the three teenagers who were killed in the crash were also at the event in Caernarfon.

North Wales Police temporary deputy chief constable Ian Shannon said motorists would be stopped and checked for driving under the influence on roads across the country.

"Officers throughout Wales are committed to making our roads safer and will be conducting targeted patrols in a bid to reduce the number of motorists who decide to drink or take drugs and then get behind the wheel," he said.

Deputy First Minister and Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "Although only a small minority of motorists continue to ignore the law in regard to drink-driving, this minority of irresponsible drivers still accounts for one sixth of all road deaths in this country."

The legal alcohol limit while driving is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

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