Teen’s death crash tragedy campaign comes to Padiham

Hard-Hitting: Tesco community champion Denise Westall with PC Peter Brandon and Sgt Mick Burnett at the Wasted Lives campaign event in Padiham
Hard-Hitting: Tesco community champion Denise Westall with PC Peter Brandon and Sgt Mick Burnett at the Wasted Lives campaign event in Padiham

A hard-hitting drink driving campaign about the tragic death of a Read teenager killed in a road crash, has come to Padiham.

The Wasted Lives campaign tells the harrowing story of 18-year-old Matthew Alston who died in a horror crash near his home in 2010.

The promising Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil, who was expecting his A-Level grades, was killed instantly in a head-on crash along Whalley Road as he drive to play football the morning after a party night in Burnley.

The twisted wreckage of the promising student’s car was displayed outside Padiham Tesco under the campaign as a stark warning about the dangers of drink driving.

Peter Brandon, of East Lancashire Road Policing Unit, talked shoppers through the tragic story on the day.

He said: “We have had a really positive response from everyone in Padiham about Wasted Lives.

“The vehicle has a real impact – far more impact than a television advert.

“Matthew died in the driver’s seat of that car and when people see that, it really brings it home. His life and death is right there - his football boots are still in the boot. It is very sobering for people to see.”

Matthew’s parents helped put together the campaign to show the impact that road accidents can have on the victims’ families, friends and the emergency services that have to deal with the aftermath.

The display has photos, messages from friends and even posts he sent on Facebook the night before he died to hammer home the dangers of driving the morning after drinking alcohol.

Sgt Mick Burnett, of Padiham Police, who arranged the community safety event, said: “We wanted to make the community aware of the impact of drink driving and the affect it can have on the lives of families.”