THE heartbroken son of one of Derry’s best known Orangemen who died in a car crash in Co Derry is to start a road safety campaign in memory of his father.
Wilson Sherrard from the Fountain in Derry, was a passenger in a Mazda car which was involved in a collision with a van on the Foreglen Road near Claudy last week.
The 60-year-old’s tragic and sudden death shocked his family.
A police investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.
Mr Sherrard, an artist and family man who specialised in making collarettes for the Loyal Orders had been on a return journey from Belfast.
He had been in Belfast completing work on a batch of collarettes that had been ordered by Loyal Orders in Scotland.
Son Christopher Sherrard wants to start a city-wide road safety initiative and hopes to secure political support.
“I was at home working, my wife came out to say that my father had been rushed to hospital and he was critically ill because there was a car crash out at Claudy,” he said.
“My father had two collapsed lungs, a shattered diaphragm, punctured bowel, multiple fractures, a bleed in the brain and his face was totally smashed up.
“It was not my father lying in that bed,” added Christopher Sherrard.
“The injuries that he had were that severe that unfortunately, they took his life.”
Mr Sherrard said that since his father died, he could not stop thinking about a television advert.
“It’s the one with the surgeon and the consultant explaining all the things you should do whenever you get into the car,” he said.
“Its the bit where he says: ‘You don’t ever want to see your mum or dad, or a family member, seeing me doing my job.’
“Well I had to see him and I don’t want anybody else to have to see that,” he added.
Christopher said he has contacted the office of the first minister about his road safety fight.
“I will do everything I can to promote it and try to stop another person in this town from losing their life because whenever you go there’s no coming back.
“It’s horrendous in what it does to the families and we’ve only started grieving.”
“I’m going to endeavour now and hopefully try and get some meetings set up with influential people in this city to highlight this.”
Mr Sherrard hopes a fresh safety initiative would bring it home to people just how traumatic road accidents can be.
Christopher Sherrard was caring for his granny, who has Alzheimer’s, the last time he and his father spoke.
“He said he was on the motorway and on his way home. He said: ‘Just you go on home son because I’ll be home in half an hour.’
“I said: ‘I’ll see you later, Dad.’
“I did not think those were the last words I was going to say to him.
“Sometimes in my mind, he’s still on that motorway coming home, he just hasn’t finished his journey yet.”