Grieving mum fights for change

Jeynelle Dean-Hayes and her partner Josh have started a petition urging the State Government to change laws so that accused hit-run drivers automatically lose their licences. Jeynelle’s son Tyler died in an alleged hit and run at Buckley, east of Winchelsea, in 2017.

Memories of their constantly busy, ever active son have compelled a Winchelsea family to channel their grief into preventing hit and run tragedies.

Tyler Dean was 18 years old when he was struck and killed while riding his bike on Atkins Road, Buckley, east of Winchelsea, in October last year.

The driver of the four-wheel-drive that struck Tyler allegedly failed to stop at the scene, and is on bail as a trial on the hit-run case progresses through court.

Tyler’s mother Jeynelle Dean-Hayes, her partner Josh Hayes and Tyler’s relatives and friends have started a petition urging authorities to change legislation so accused hit and run drivers have their licences suspended until the outcome of their court case.

Jeynelle said attending court proceedings of the alleged driver and memories of her son’s lively, active nature compelled her to start the petition, directed at Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan, Premier Daniel Andrews and Education Minister James Merlino.

“I find that I have to stay busy,” she said.

“Tyler was one of those kids that always had to be doing stuff, he hated to sit around, he hated to be bored.

“I could picture him sitting here when I was sitting here and I wasn’t at work, I could see him sitting here going ‘what are you doing mum? We have to get up and do stuff’.

“It was like he was right there; I could feel him there wanting me to do something.”

Jeynelle said she and Josh were overwhelmed with support their petition had received so far, with more than 4000 signatures from people as far abroad as South Africa, Argentina and California.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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