Caroline’s daughter Anna, aged 34, and unborn grandson, Oscar, were killed in a collision with a speeding car while Anna was on her way towards her final antenatal appointment on 18 December 2018.

The car that hit them was driving along a 60mph road at 130mph. The driver lost control and careered into the back of Anna’s smaller car at 112mph. The collision was so violent that Anna and Oscar were thrown through the windscreen. They landed 80 feet away and died instantly. Their instant death is the only fact about their deaths that gives Caroline solace.

The day Anna and Oscar died was Caroline's 60th birthday. She had spent a lovely and happy weekend with Anna, Anna's sister and their families to celebrate her birthday. Anna left Caroline on 17 December, leaving a birthday card and present for Caroline. They were both very excited about the baby’s imminent birth and the plans for Christmas. There was so much to look forward to.

The day of the crash will forever live in Caroline's memory. After spending time wandering around the shops, enjoying a meal out and visiting the Eden Project for her birthday, Caroline returned home to find a police car waiting outside her home. She initially feared that this visit was due to something to do with her own work, but the officers informed her that Anna had been killed in a car crash earlier that day. Caroline says that this news immediately caused her confusion, as she had only seen Anna the day before, and her home was still filled with toys used by the family when they had visited. Anna’s presence was very strong.

Caroline was asked to identify Anna’s body on Christmas Eve, when a post mortem was also held. Caroline asked for baby Oscar to be separated from Anna so they could hold and see him. He was a perfect size and weight and Caroline says she knows he would have grown into a wonderful young boy but was denied his right to live and be who he should have been.

KIRSOPP LEWIS Anna Caroline Kirsopp
Anna. 34, and her unborn son Oscar were killed in a collision with a speeding car

That day, my daughter Anna, and unborn grandson Oscar were taken away from us. As a family our lives stopped, our relationships turned upside down as we all tried to negotiate this new dark and painful world without them. I am sharing my story in memory of Anna and Oscar and calling for everyone to use roads safely, particularly drivers.

Anna's and Oscar’s deaths left a huge hole not only within the family but within the school community where Anna was a valued and inspiring teacher.

In the weeks and months after the crash, the family had to ‘recalibrate’ their relationships with one another and find a way to live with the space that had been Anna. Students where Anna taught flocked to the college memorial garden and laid flowers and toys on hearing the news of Anna and Oscar’s deaths.

The following July, Caroline and her grandson Henry also visited the memorial garden, and planted a tree in Anna and Oscar’s memory, which is decorated every year by staff. Anna’s death had a profound impact on the students, who had lost an incredibly inspiring and motivational teacher that saw the best in every pupil.

Caroline did not return to work after the crash, wanting to put the care of her grandson Henry at the top of her priorities. Caroline wants to share Anna and Oscar’s story with Brake to raise awareness of the impact that deaths on roads can have on a family, loved ones, and individuals across the local community.