Jade's family fight through pain for driver safety change
LILY flowers will be released into the sea at sunrise today, as a Coast family marks one year since a car crash robbed them of their loving daughter and sister.
Jade Lily Dixson, 17, died in the early hours of March 28 last year after the car in which she was a passenger crashed into a tree at Dulong.
The popular Year 12 student's death rocked her Woombye community and the wider Sunshine Coast region.
But the tragedy was most sharply felt within her immediate family, who have rallied through the pain to try to improve safety for young drivers.
The crash also seriously injured the 17-year-old Woombye driver, who was later charged with driving without due care and attention.
He was subsequently acquitted on that charge.
Jade's father Mark Dixson said lily flowers had taken on a special significance to his family since the death of his daughter.
"It is going to be a tough day for the family," Mr Dixson said.
He said after the dawn beach vigil his family would host a few close friends in the afternoon.
A larger barbecue is being planned for Sunday afternoon in Cotton Tree Park so more people can gather in memory of Jade.
"It is just making sure her thoughts never die plus all the family get together."
He said the past six months had been particularly difficult but focus had returned to organising events to help a driver education charity Jade's Legacy.
The second Jade's Legacy raceday will be held at Corbould Park on July 14.
"Defensive driver education is still our long term goal," Mr Dixson said.
He said convincing the state government to make defensive driver courses mandatory was not easy so resources were being concentrated on generating statistical evidence of benefits.
Jade's Legacy is partly-funding education courses for school-aged drivers through Roadcraft in Gympie.
"It is not cheap but what cost can you put on your kid's life," Mr Dixson said.
He said surveys completed before and after the courses would give feedback on the effect of the training.
"Hopefully it is a long term part towards getting action down in State Parliament."
For more information visit www.jadeslegacy.com.au.