Mum Of Birmingham Lorry Crash Victim Thinks New Support Scheme Will Help

9 September 2015, 14:32 | Updated: 29 November 2015, 15:46

A Birmingham mum says she wishes a new West Midlands police scheme to support victims of road traffic collisions had been around when she lost her daughter.

Nazan Fennell's daughter Hope was killed after being hit by a lorry whilst riding her bike home to Kings Heath.

She was just 13.

West Midlands police now want to offer specially trained family liason officers to those who end up in similar situations as part of a first of a kind project.

Nazan Fennell told Heart having human support was vital to her.

She said: "It was like the 18 tonne truck hit me. I could actually feel the impact of that crash or collision.

"I mean spent days trying to imagine what it must have felt like being hit by such a heavy machinary and then being trapped underneath with no one able to save you.

"There's a desperate, desperate, need to understand why and what happened to your child.

"Why did this happen, could it not be prevented, did she have to die like that.

"You know she was only 13 and she was very very beautiful.

"She was a vibrant young girl who loved being part of our community in Kings Heath.

"I didn't know anything about the criminal justice system at the time.

"I didn't know anythivng about fatal road crashes and what happens after that.

"It would be really important, very helpful, for someone to take me through the actual process."

"I was lucky enough, in a way after such a catastrophe, I was lucky enough to meet a person who had been through the same.

"It was really invaluable to have her, it didn't matter if she said anything, she just understood, she just knew and that was priceless.

"I did think I wish this service was there when I was going through all this I could've really been in a much better place now.

"I've been through the trauma, the medication, loss of job, just changed a house, you know just lost a family home and I'm a fighter.

West Midlands police say they were struggling to deal with the 80 to 90 fatal collisions that happen on our roads every year and a single officer was not always available because of different shift patterns across several locations.

The new service, which will be part of the Force Collision Investigation unit, aims to use officers who've volunteered for the role to address this problem.

Superintendent Paul Keasey, head of Traffic, said: "There are three different elements to the role of the Family Liaison Officer - to help with the investigation, to support the family of the victim and to signpost them to other support services and organisations that may be able to help.

"This new team means that as well as supporting families, officers will also be able to spend time establishing and developing relationships with our partners, whether that is local community groups or local charities offering support for those who have lost loved ones.

"They will also now have the capacity to provide support for the wider community, for example if the victim is a school child, working with the child's school to provide reassurance and support which previously they may not have had the capacity to do.

"This is a national first; WMP are leading the way in creating a centre of excellence.