Family's faith helps them through loss

By Ted JeoryA HEARTBROKEN father whose daughter was killed in a car crash has described how his Christian faith helped him and his wife deal with their loss.

By Ted Jeory

A HEARTBROKEN father whose daughter was killed in a car crash has described how his Christian faith helped him and his wife deal with their loss.

Graham Ekins said he and his wife, Evie, were still coping with the death of their only daughter, Clare, 23, who died instantly in a road crash in January.

Speaking after an inquest yesterday, the schoolteacher also praised an organ donor campaign that was inspired by Miss Ekins, whose tissue was used to help save other peoples' lives.

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Mr Ekins, from Boreham, said: “We're still finding it difficult to come to terms with what happened, but we are just pleased that other people involved in the accident are fit and well.

“We were and are a Christian family and our faith, our school and our parish has pulled us through and made a difference to us.”

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The inquest in Chelmsford heard that Miss Ekins, an Essex University sociology graduate who had ambitions to work in the media, had been driving along the A130 Essex Regiment Way in Chelmsford on January 25 at 9am.

She was driving her Peugeot 106 towards Braintree when it inexplicably veered to the other side of the road.

Patricia Whiteley, 69, from Leyton, was travelling in a red Nissan in the opposite direction to a funeral with her son at the time.

“I thought she doing a U-turn. I just banked and swerved to try to avoid her - it all happened so quickly,” she said.

Pc Charles Harris, Essex Police traffic investigating officer, said there were “significant inconsistencies” in the witness accounts.

“What's clear, is that the collision was square on for the Nissan, but for the Peugeot, the collision was in its relatively weak rear corner,” he said.

“The Peugeot sustained a huge impact. Clare was wearing as seatbelt, but this would not have been useful in this type of impact.”

Pc Harris said Miss Ekins' car had beem hit side-on, but added: “It's not possible to deduce the reason for this.

“Clare allowed her vehicle to cross the road into oncoming traffic for some reason and this must be the prime cause of the accident.”

A post-mortem examination revealed no signs of alcohol or drugs in Miss Ekins' body.

Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray, recorded a verdict of accidental death, but noted the evidence had been vague.

Miss Ekins was a former pupil of St John Payne School, Chelmsford. In a tribute after her death, her parents described her as a “moral” person who was “always ready to confront issues and situations she felt strongly about”.

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