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Hampshire and Thames Valley road death victims remembered

Victims of fatal road accidents have been remembered at church services organised by emergency workers.

Police, fire and ambulance personnel joined victims' families at services in Thame, Oxfordshire, and in Winchester, Hampshire.

The names of people who died were read out and candles were lit in their memory.

Karen Marchant, whose daughter Rebecca was killed by a drink-driver in 2016, said it was "very much a comfort".

Karen Marchant
The teenager's mother, Karen Marchant, said the services offered a chance to meet other grieving families

The 15-year-old was a passenger in a car which crashed into a tree in Hordle, Hampshire.

Her mother, from Leatherhead, Surrey, said: "She's still with me every day. As each day goes on, it's still there but life grows around it.

"It's very much a comfort to come to something like this. You're with people who share your experiences, who understand."

Rev Dom Jones
The Reverend Dom Jones told relatives the services could "gently soothe" their grief

The chaplain of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, the Reverend Dom Jones, led the service attended by Ms Marchant at Christ Church in Winchester.

He told the congregation: "We are all victims of road trauma. We are all affected and hurt by the annual toll of suffering on our roads.

"This is a place where many times in the past, the pain of grief has been gently soothed."

Road deaths service in Winchester 2023
Victims' families gathered at Christ Church in Winchester

Another service took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Thame.

Victims were remembered from across Hampshire and the Thames Valley, which share a roads policing unit.

Ch Insp Emma Hart, from the unit, said: "It is important we hold these services to remember those who have lost their lives.

"It is also an opportunity to recognise the professionalism and courage demonstrated by the officers who have to attend the scenes of these collisions."

The annual events were organised to mark United Nations World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

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