5:00pm Saturday 5th May 2012
By Emily Roberts
A RETIRED paramedic, whose daughter died when she was just 21, is trying to raise awareness of road safety to prevent other parents suffering the heartache of losing a child.
Mike Olive’s daughter Elizabeth had just finished training as a paediatric nurse when she was found dead in her room in the nurse’s quarters at Hillingdon Hospital in 1987. She died from meningitis.
Mr Olive, who has three other children, and lives in Cairngorm Close, Buckskin, Basingstoke, said his daughter’s death had made him more sensitive about safety.
He added: “I witness, daily, parents with young children, walking through our estate, not on pavements but using the access roads to parking areas.”
Following an article in The Gazette about parking problems outside Basingstoke schools, Mr Olive, 75, asked Chiltern Primary School if he could talk to parents about road safety.
The school, in Chiltern Way, which Mr Olive’s children attended, was highlighted in The Gazette as having problems with parents parking on double yellow lines, making it difficult for children to cross the road.
The grandfather of six said: “I only know too well what pain is when one loses a child, and I would like to help prevent this happening to other parents.”
Mr Olive, who has eight great grandchildren, was an engineer, working on space systems in America when he volunteered to train as a paramedic in his spare time.
Upon moving back to England, he decided to train as a nurse, but injured his back and did not work after his daughter died.
He believes educating parents about road safety will help to prevent their children having accidents. He said: “I see young children allowed to run ahead without any supervision or concern. Many vehicles enter our close at speed and sometimes in reverse.”
Nicki Baker and Caroline Williamson, acting headteachers at Chiltern Primary School, have said they will meet with Mr Olive to explore how his ideas can help them to improve road safety.
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