TWO brave cousins are to take to the skies in memory of a tragic mum-of-triplets who died in a motorway car smash.
Hartlepool teenager Rebecca Newton-Smith lost her precious mum Val Newton-Smith in the horror crash on the M1, near to Sheffield, on April 8, last year.
The 18-year-old, who is one third of a set of triplet girls, said her family was left devastated by the accident and was helped through the trauma by the charity Brake.
So, as a thank you to members of the charity, Rebecca and her 15-year-old cousin Lauren Spence - who is Val’s sister’s daughter – decided to raise money for the organisation in a bid to help others who have suffered as they did.
And the plucky pair came up with the idea of carrying out a sponsored skydive at Shotton Airfield, near Peterlee, on April 12 next year – a date as close to the second anniversary of Val’s death as possible.
Rebecca – whose triplet siblings are called Beth and Shona – said: “I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie and I can’t wait! Lauren is a bit nervous but I’m more excited. I’m already thinking of the next thing I’m going to do and I think it might have to be a bungee jump.
“I think my mam would be proud of me doing this. She was always one for saying ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘be careful’ but I’m doing it for her so I don’t think she’d mind.
“I just need people to donate now so I can raise as much money as possible.”
She added: “We’re giving all the money to Brake. The police officer who was with us when my mam died gave us some information about them and we contacted them and they were brilliant for us. They offer counselling and support for families who have lost someone in car accidents.”
Val, 52, who was married to Peter Newton-Smith, was coming home from a weekend away when Rebecca says that for reasons unknown she veered off the road in a silver Vauxhall Corsa.
Rebecca, who works in the administration department of Stadium in Hartlepool, and lives in Torcross Close, Clavering, said: “She was the best mam ever. She was one of those people who was always happy and nothing ever bothered her.
“She was always smiling and always laughing.
“It’s the memories of her that are spurring me on to do this. I’m doing it for my mam, and for everyone who is suffering like we did.”
Anyone who would like to donate should log onto http://www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Newton-Smith