Mum reveals last letter from road death son

A MOTHER has revealed the poignant last letter from her 15-year-old son, who died alongside two of his friends in a horror road smash.
Andrea Kelly with the letter from son David. Picture: John JeffayAndrea Kelly with the letter from son David. Picture: John Jeffay
Andrea Kelly with the letter from son David. Picture: John Jeffay

Andrea Kelly is making the precious document public to highlight a safe driving campaign and wants the letter to show other parents what it is like to lose a son.

David Armstrong penned the letter – an apology and declaration of love for his mother – after a series of arguments. She said it was her most precious possession, after he and two other teenagers were killed by a young driver who lost control.

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Dotted with kisses and a love heart, the penned letter has words crossed out and the odd spelling mistake.

But it’s a clear labour of love and one the tragic 15-year-old slipped to her by way of apology following weeks of typical teen arguments.

Now it is the most precious thing heartbroken Andrea – who wants strict curbs slapped on new drivers – has left of David.

“It is comforting and yet so heartbreaking,” she said. “Reading through it keeps him close to my heart even though he has gone. It is hard to make it public but I need to let people know what a loss David is.”

David, 15, died alongside Jenna Barbour, 18, and Joshua Stewart, 16, when driver Robbie Gemmell, 17, lost control of the car and hit a wall near Tyninghame, East Lothian, in November 2013.

Gemmell was sentenced to 300 hours of community service last September for careless driving.

In the letter he wrote just before the smash, David made up with his mum. “Mum it is unreal how much I love you and I hate how this last week we have been falling out all the time,” he wrote. “To be honest I had a think about it and I really am being immature.”

“He was like so many devoted teenage boys,” said Andrea, 40. “Desperate to be his own person but anchored by an enduring love for his mum.

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“Any family rows we had were soon settled over a sit-down around the kitchen table. He would row with his sister Gemma and they would be best friends ten minutes later.”

Andrea, from Dunbar, wants all motorists to be 25 before they can carry passengers.

“It is madness that you can pass a test at 17 and then carry a carload of others to their death,” she said. “We need a change in the law now.”