Coroner calls on newspapers and teachers for help

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FOR VERY good reasons around decency and respect, this newspaper rarely – if ever – comments upon inquests in this space.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands full well that whilst families are grieving – and inquests are absolutely a part of the grieving process – they need time and space to do so without the intrusion or opinion of a newspaper that absolutely prides itself on the way it treats the families who live in and around Leeds.

However, yesterday coroner Kevin McLoughlin called upon the media to play its part in highlighting that had the driver behind the wheel in the Horsforth crash that killed four young men understood better the danger he was placing himself in, and his dearest friends, then what he described as a ‘calamitous tragedy’ may have been avoided.

He went on to call upon every driving instructor in the area to ‘cut out the media coverage from newspapers and make their students read it so that they understand the responsibilities that come with having a driving licence.’

Mr McLoughlin then called upon teachers in schools not to shy away from what happened on the night that Caelan Megson, Brandon Frew, Matty Walshaw and Declan Grove died. He asked that all school pupils be exposed to the fact that because of poor decision making when it comes to drink, drugs and driving a vehicle, four young men who had their entire adult lives ahead of them were killed, robbing them of ever fulfilling their potential.

And so, whilst we acknowledge that this message will be difficult to read for the families and friends – quite rightly commended by the coroner for their solidarity in their darkest hour – to read and to share, Mr McCloughlin was in fact asking that we use this most tragic of events as a very real example to young people of what will happen to them – and other innocent road users caught in the crossfire of drink and drug drivers – should they choose to ignore their responsibilities when taking control of a car.

In effect, the coroner was looking to create an educational legacy for the boys. A stark warning to young men and women – just like those lads whose stupid mistake cost them so dearly – so that their passing is not in vain and in the hope of getting through to every single young person in the region so that no other family or community has to go through the same thing ever again. RIP, boys.