A MUM has spoken movingly about her dad’s death following a car crash and the impact it had on her family.

19-year-old Zia Philp, of Cadoxton, Barry, was just six years old when her dad, Jason John Philp, died in a car crash on the Barry Docks Link Road on May 19, 2006.

The mum, who has a two-year-old son, hopes her story will highlight the importance of safe driving - and wishes her father had driven safely that morning.

Miss Philp said: “I was only six when he died.

“He was only 35 years old.

“He had two children, me and my brother, Junior, who was seven at the time.

“His black Mercedes collided with a Ford Mondeo at around 10.30am on May 19, 2006.

“My dad attempted to do an illegal u-turn to take a short-cut to avoid going up to the roundabout.

“He didn’t see the Mondeo as there was a lorry between the two vehicles.”

“The crash was completely my dad’s fault,” she said.

“He was not wearing a seatbelt and was on the phone to his friend at the time.

“The driver’s door of my dad’s car took the main impact.

“He died at the University Hospital of Wales on the day of the crash, as a result of internal injuries which included a laceration of the pulmonary artery and haemorrhaging.

“An inquest was held at Cardiff’s Coroners Court and recorded accidental death.”

Miss Philp said her mum was the first to find out when she was at work and she and her brother were in school at the time.

“She told us once school had finished and we went home.

“As I was only six, I don’t think I completely understood what was happening.

“I knew my dad wasn’t going to be coming home and that in itself caused me and my brother great heartbreak.

“We were still only children and no child should ever be told that one of their parents isn’t going to be coming home.”

“I’m advocating the importance of safe driving because even now, 13 years on, we are all still suffering. Because I was so young, I didn’t really deal with grief very well and so it wasn’t until my early teenage years that I started to process what had happened.

“It had a significant impact on my mental health.

“Losing a parent is hard for anyone who has to go through it.

“There’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief, but talking about it does help, which is something I didn’t do until my late teens.”

She added: “My aim is for even at least one person to realise the impact driving carelessly can have.

“It not only affects you or the other people involved in the collision, but it also affects your family and friends.

“The pain doesn’t ever go away and it doesn’t necessarily get easier, you just learn to live with it after a while.

“I have suffered with extreme depression and anxiety since the accident.

“I went through an extremely tough few years during my early teens.

“I found it hard to trust and get close to people as I was so afraid that they’d one day leave me too just like my dad did.

“It had a great impact on how I dealt with relationships with my family and friends.

“I’m hoping that people will start to think before they drive.

“One little mistake can ruin your life and the lives of the ones who love you.

“It’s not something I would wish for anyone to have to go through, especially not a child.

My son will never meet his grandfather, who would only be 48 years old now.

“That could have been avoided had my dad driven safely that morning.”