A firefighter who lost his daughter to a car crash caused by learner drivers has broken his silence after recognizing his child at the crash scene.
Adrian Smith is a 49-year-old firefighter from Wales who was attending a car crash scene at Portfield Gate, Pembrokeshire, when he spotted his 21-year-old daughter’s tattoo on the victim that was pulled out of the wreck.
Speaking of the loss that “consumes” him to this day, Smith broke his silence at the court and revealed how he will never be able to forget the moment he realized his daughter, Ella Brooke Smith, had died in the crash.
In a victim statement, Adrian recalled the doomed night he was responding to an emergency after learner drivers Emma Price, 21, and Jago Clarke, 21, caused a fatal crash while racing on the road.
“I was the duty officer for the fire service in Pembrokeshire and was mobilized to a road traffic collision with multiple persons trapped, something I had attended many times in my career,” Smith said as he addressed the court and the killer drivers.
“Once in attendance I carried out a scene assessment and I moved around one of the vehicles and was stood between the two involved. I noticed a female being pulled clear of one of them, I noticed a tattoo on her leg and immediately recognized it as Ella’s.
“I turned to the car and checked the registration – it was Ella’s. As I looked back they were pulling a blanket over Ella. At that moment, although surrounded by many people I was the loneliest man alive.”
The grieving dad went on to say the tragedy left him haunted while insisting he would never forgive Price and Clarke for their recklessness, arrogance, and “appetite for self-preservation.”
The 21-year-old drivers pleaded not guilty despite overwhelming evidence against them.
“I will never understand why you did what you did and this will eat away at me for the rest of my life,” Smith, who was forced to retire from his job early due to the trauma he had suffered, added.
“The loss is consuming me and my grief has become the new me, the father who planned his daughter’s funeral rather than her wedding, the father who carried a coffin rather than walk her down the aisle, the father who read a eulogy rather than the father-of-the-bride speech.”
Our thoughts remain with Ella’s family as the trial continues.
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