SAD LOSS: Nicholas Saxby's mother, Raquel Flack, is comforted by her surviving children outside Ipswich Courthouse after the sentencing of Michael Henderson.
SAD LOSS: Nicholas Saxby's mother, Raquel Flack, is comforted by her surviving children outside Ipswich Courthouse after the sentencing of Michael Henderson. Sarah Harvey

Heartbroken mum's appeal to motorists

RAQUEL Flack is no longer prepared to risk life or limb by driving on Queensland roads during the Christmas holidays.

Ms Flack lost her teenage son Nicholas Saxby in a horrific car accident caused by a drink driver in 2011.

While she already had a cautious approach to driving, Ms Flack said she now struggled to understand the mentality of people who drove after consuming alcohol.

"The Queensland Times names and shames drink drivers on a weekly basis, but it doesn't seem to stop them,” she said.

"I wouldn't drink drive even after one drink and that's how I've always approached it.”

Ms Flack said while she supported the state's road safety campaign, she believed the message just wasn't getting through.

"There is so much people just don't understand. They seem to think they know what they're doing. It's like they believe it will never happen to them,” she said.

"You would think the number of accidents would make people realise that it can happen to anybody, but people seem to think they are bullet proof and I don't know how you could change that.”

Ms Flack's son Nicholas, then aged 16, was one of four young Ipswich people in a car that was hit from the side by a vehicle driven by a man who was not only drunk, but had also run a red light.

Nicholas and his friends Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Matthew Prior, 18, were killed, while Alex Mayfield survived.

The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene after the crash, but was later arrested and charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, along with other serious charges.

After a lengthy appeal process, Michael Daniel Henderson was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in jail, to serve 80% of the term behind bars.

The heartache and misery that crashes like this cause Ipswich residents every year is the reason we have joined the road safety campaign, Give... Don't Grieve, this year.



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