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Not just ‘bad luck’: Family’s ‘active grief’ changes hundreds of young lives

Jim Wilson
Article image for Not just ‘bad luck’: Family’s ‘active grief’ changes hundreds of young lives

A Queensland family has set out to use their tragedy to prevent others on our roads.

Melissa and Peter McGuiness lost their 18-year-old son Jordan in 2012 when, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the teenager ploughed into another vehicle broken down at the side of the motorway.

The second car exploding into flames, killing four other young adults inside and leaving only one survivor.

“Jordan was 100 per cent to blame for the horrors that unfolded that night,” Melissa told Jim Wilson.

“Naturally as parents we’ve found a way to forgive him for his poor choices,” Peter added, “but we’re very clear about the fact that … we don’t seek sympathy.”

Faced with the consequences of an entirely preventable tragedy, the couple are now devoted to sharing their powerful story in schools in hopes of changing young driver culture.

“We’re very active with our grief,” Melissa explained.

One of the challenges, Peter said, is communication about driver safety presenting such deaths as inevitable.

“It’s saying to kids ‘listen, 16 to 25’s just a dangerous time to be alive, and what can you do?’

“Well, we know that this generation is better than that … they can reject the idea that bad driving’s just bad luck.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

To learn more about Melissa and Peter McGuiness’ initiative You Choose, click HERE.

Jim Wilson
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