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When Amy Slattery watched her 14-month-old daughter Isla-Rose take her first steps, she could not help but think of how happy her mother would have been if she were there to see it.
Margaret Moffatt and her partner Ron Matthews were killed when their Ford four-wheel-drive collided with a train at the Old Dublin Road level crossing near Mallala in February.
Ms Moffatt, 66, and Mr Matthews, 73, who were preparing a caravan trip around Australia, were dropping their dog to a friend’s house before a weekend getaway when their lives were cut short. In Rail Safety Week, Ms Slattery is urging road users to be vigilant when driving near level crossings, saying one moment of inattention can cost a life.
Margaret Moffatt and her partner Ron Matthews.“There’s still tears every day and moments every day obviously that I think about mum and miss her,” Ms Slattery said.
The Seacliff Park woman said Isla-Rose missed her nana too.
“She started walking last week,” she said.
Margaret Moffatt with her then nine-month-old granddaugther Isla-Rose. Picture supplied by family.“There’s just all these things that moment has now taken away that she’s just not here for.
“Just that one moment of inattention … just takes away a lifetime of experiences for the family and friends.” Ms Slattery and her husband Luke recently found out they are expecting their second child in January. She said it was bittersweet.
Ms Slattery said families should be aware when driving near level crossings, as crashes can happen to anyone. “Its one of those things that you think ‘it couldn’t happen to us’,” she said.
Ms Slattery supported the addition of boom gates to all train and tram crossings to prevent more heartache.
“You can’t be safe enough,” she said. “If there was something at every crossing, it wouldn’t have happened.”
The scene of the fatal accident at Mallala. Picture: AAP / Brenton EdwardsFor Rail Safety Week, SA Police, TrackSAFE Foundation and Adelaide Metro are working to raise awareness of risks.
Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said the 83 reported vehicle and pedestrian-related collisions at train and tram crossings in the last year were too many.
Acting Assistant Police Commissioner John De Candia said trains and trams were much quieter than people expected.
“So it is of vital importance that commuters’ No 1 priority is their safety around the rail network,” he said.
“A moment of inattention around level crossings can have a devastating impact on many families.”
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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