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Tribute to George 10 years after crash

By Uttoxeter Post and Times  |  Posted: August 22, 2014

By Gareth Butterfield

  • Family memorial to youngster who died in a tragic car accident at the A517, Bradley Crossroads ten years ago.

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THE family of a Doveridge teenager who died in a car accident have been back to the scene of the crash to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

George Stretton, of High Street, was the passenger of a Vauxhall Corsa which was in a collision with two other vehicles at Bradley Smithy Crossroads, Ashbourne, on the A517 in August 2004. The 18-year-old died at the scene.

His mother Rowena Stretton, his younger sister Harriet and his auntie Alison Box gathered at the crossing on Wednesday to cut back weeds, lay flowers and replace a wooden cross which bears the name "George" at a subtle tribute site on the grass verge.

Mrs Stretton, who lived in Roston at the time of the accident, says that after 10 years, the grief of losing George has not gone away.

She told the Post and Times: "It doesn't get any easier. In fact, sometimes it gets worse. It gets worse when you see other people growing up.

"You don't begrudge any of that but family events, people having children, grand children. I've been robbed of that.

"It's the long term effects of it and I don't think anyone can really comprehend what it's actually like to have someone taken away from you.

"The grief is always there. It's like any grief, there are periods in between when it's like a flat-line but what it does to you when you lose someone, a child, part of you dies with that. It goes. And you can feel it's dead.

"But you have to carry on, you have a family and you have a life and George wouldn't want us all not to be successful and not carrying on."

George's sister was 16 and in the midst of her GCSEs when George died.

She now lives in Manchester but says losing her big brother made it difficult for her to take big steps in her life such as leaving school and moving away from home.

Harriet, a brand manager, said: "You lose part of yourself, it never goes away. You learn to live with it and to deal with it.

"It was difficult, school was hard but I got on with it because it was where I'd always been so it wasn't scary to go back to it. But leaving school was the scary part - going to college; that was a massive struggle.

"It was a confidence thing. I didn't want to leave anywhere I'd felt secure.

"I didn't want to leave home, to leave my mum, so going to college was a massive deal.

"It took me a long time and it's probably only around now that I've started to become more confident and willing to leave and go to Manchester.

"It'll always be there, it will never leave me."

George, a former pupil at Norbury Primary School and Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, in Ashbourne, was a talented artist and was living with his father in Doveridge at the time of the crash.

His father did not attend the scene on Wednesday, as he finds it too hard to go back.

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