By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: November 5, 2020 at 12:13 pm
In the early hours of 12 September, 2009, Kelly Golding’s brother, Matt, was walking from the pub at Middleton to his home only a few hundred metres away.
On the way, he was tragically hit by a car and killed, never making it home to his pregnant wife.
“I was at home in the Hills and my dad was staying with us. We got a phone call in the middle of the night and drove there, numb,” Kelly says.
The news that her brother had been killed changed Kelly and her family’s lives.
“There’s a gaping hole in our family – it’s changed forever,” she says.
“My brother was 3 months away from being a father, and so I’ve got this adorable little niece who’s a spitting image of him.
“She has his humour and she’s charismatic. Matty would be so proud of her, but he didn’t get to be a part of her life. Now we try to remind her of her dad who she’s never met.”
Matt’s death has had a profound, long-lasting impact on the siblings’ parents.
“My parents suffer every day, as we all do, but I see that pain in my parents,” Kelly says.
“Every birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day [and] Christmas has changed.”
Kelly is one of thousands of South Australians impacted by road trauma every year.
Each year about 1200 people are killed on Australian roads.
Ahead of this year’s Road Safety Week from 15 to 22 November, RAA is encouraging South Australians to share messages of love to honour loved ones we’ve lost on our roads.
Kelly offered this heartfelt message of love to her brother:
I’m so immensely proud of you, it fills my heart. I miss your energy, and laugh, your smile and hugs. I carry them with me every day. You are so loved.”
RAA will be sharing these messages of love throughout Road Safety Week to remember and honour friends, colleagues and family members lost to road trauma. You can do so by emailing your message to MessagesofLove@raa.com.au
If you want to send a message to a loved one, you can remain anonymous.
RAA Traffic Engineer Matthew Vertudaches says these messages will also highlight the impact road trauma has on the people left behind – and may just save a life.
“National Road Safety Week reminds drivers why they need to stay safe and follow the road rules,” he says.
“Road trauma not only impacts the victims, it leaves a lasting impact on their families, friends and the wider community – and that’s a message we should also take away from National Road Safety Week.”