My name is Donna Groves and I am here as a result of the death of my son Tim in September 1998. Firstly I would like to tell you a little about Tim. He was 16 and a half years old and had almost completed Year 11 at Langwarrin Secondary College.
From a very young age his ambition was to play AFL Football and given the talent he developed during 10 years of playing it seemed quite likely that he would achieve his goal. Tim loved football, girls, parties, his family and friends. He loved life and he had hopes and dreams just like all of you.
In the last 12 months of his life, his social life had grown somewhat and he was often going to parties. This, of course, meant that he started to experiment with alcohol.
Tim and I discussed on a number of occasions the possible consequences of not doing the right thing and I was impressed with the mature sense of responsibility that he always took.
He was not known to take risks and until that fateful night had never let me down. And so I had no reason to be concerned when he went to yet another party with 2 cans of beer. A lift to and from the party had been arranged with a friend's Dad. All was well.
According to his mates he had a great time, but over the course of the night, he consumed a lot of alcohol other than his 2 beers and became very drunk.
This is the last photo [circled right] taken of Tim alive, a couple of hours later along with his hopes and dreams he was dead.
I don't know exactly what occurred to make Tim decide to leave the party and attempt to walk home from Pearcedale to Langwarrin, a post mortem blood alcohol reading showed him to be .19, so I guess he wasn't capable of making many good decisions.
Keeping in mind that he was on an unlit country road, no foot paths, and very drunk what happened seems inevìtable. A high powered car driven by a 20 yr old male and travelling between 80-100kph struck Tim from behind. He sustained a number of injuries including a severed spinal column. The actual cause of his death was blunt head trauma and thankfully he was killed instantly.
In the early days I wished desperately that he had survived the accident, I wanted him back no matter what his injuries would have been, but time has helped me come to terms with his death a little. With the love of life that Tim had, he would not have wanted to be trapped in a severely disabled body.
And so in the early hours of Fathers Day 1998, I was woken by 2 Police Officers who had the God-awful task of telling me that my son had been killed. Every parent's nightmare had become a chilling reality for me.
Tim's death was a senseless death and in speaking about it I am not trying to say don't have fun, don't party, after all life is for living, but please live responsibly. Take care, not just for yourselves, but for your Mums and Dads, your family and friends. They love you and take it from me they shouldn't have to go through the hell of living without you.