THE mum of a talented teenager whose life was cruelly snatched away in a car crash said the pain of losing him is “even harder to bear” ten years on from the tragedy.
Two families were left totally devastated when friends Katy Linighan and Richard Clemot-Escobar, both 18, were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed into a ditch on the A19 on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
Richard’s distraught mum Elizabeth Clemot-Escobar said there is not a day goes by she does not think of her son
She said: “Ten years is a milestone but it doesn’t make it any easier.
“It is just longer since you have seen them and the pain is harder to bear. I think of him every day.”
Elizabeth, married to Alf, both 64, added the family’s grief has been made worse after still not knowing exactly what happened on that fateful night before the accident.
And it was six years before she felt even able to go in Richard’s room at their Stockton Road home.
Katy’s family have also paid tribute to her and Richard as “two of the most vibrant and caring people.”
Her family said: “It hasn’t got any easier for us over the ten years, still seems like yesterday that it happened.
“We just feel worse the more time spent apart, missing her and not seeing her enjoy her life.”
The talented teenagers were passengers in a Vauxhall Astra that crashed near Wynyard after the car left the road, went down an embankment and overturned before hitting several trees.
The driver, Jane Bramley was cleared of careless driving after a trial at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court in a private prosecution brought by Katy’s and Richard’s families.
Ms Bramley said she swerved to avoid a rabbit and there was no suggestion the car had been speeding or drink or drugs were involved.
Richard and Katy were due to pick up their A-level results just two days after the crash.
Elizabeth added: “You see their friends and other young people going on and having good careers.
“Richard could have been anything he wanted to be. He had the world at his finger tips and was ready to fly.”
Richard’s family, including his brother Jon, 34, and Libby, 26, will remember him when they all get together tomorrow.
But Elizabeth added: “When we are all together it makes it more obvious one of my children is missing like when there is an empty chair.”
She spent years trying to get answers from Cleveland Police about Richard and Katy’s final hours including writing to former Chief Constable Sean Price but to no avail.
Elizabeth said: “He left the house at 9.40pm on a lovely summer’s evening and at midnight he was dead.
“For any parent that has lost a child to help the grieving process you have to know the details of their final hours. We still don’t know.”
Katy’s family are inviting people to pay tribute to her and Richard on a new online memorial set up by Road Peace - a national charity for crash victims.
They said: “We want her memory to live on and for people to share with us their special thoughts and memories of Katy and to also draw attention to a charity that helps to support bereaved families of road crash victims and fights for justice for those killed on the roads.
“Our family will be going away to be together and hopefully find some peace at this very difficult time.”
To write a tribute to Katy online click here.