A Mother's Grief
An article, "A Mother's Grief" is my response to the Herald-Sun's newspaper article [front page 1/2/2008] about the whereabouts of my son's killer who fled the country to avoid prosecution. 

A Mother’s Grief

“Mum, put the kettle on. I’ll be there, in your place, in about ten minutes.” I heard the voice of my son Steven over the phone.

I looked at the clock. It was 2 am in the morning, 2nd of April 2006.

Soon after, Steven came through the front door. I looked at him. His normally suntanned face looked pale and pain stricken. His body was shaking. Both of us, I and my husband Geoffrey knew at that moment that the news we are going to hear won’t be good. Then, through tears choking him, he gargled out, “Mum, Dad, Kevin was killed.”

KevinGibbs.jpgKevin, our youngest child of only eighteen years of age, was killed by an irresponsible driver in the head on collision on the Maroondah Highway in Narbethong, Victoria. Kevin was traveling from Frankston from his cousin’s place, to Buxton to where his brother Steven lived at that time. He was only about ten minutes drive from his destination when the accident took place. It was evening, the 1st of April 2006.

The car accident was caused by a French National. We were told by the police that he was driving without a licence, and was in a great hurry to get to the Grand Prix the next day. I assume that for him the Maroondah Highway that day was a racing track. He totally disregarded the double lines in the middle of the highway prohibiting him to overtake any vehicles, and took an unnecessary risk to overtake a car in front of him. For some time he was traveling at high speed and on the wrong side of the highway. He is totally responsible for the car crash which took place that day.

Since the day of the accident there is not a day that I don’t think of my son, the tall gentle man who had only just began his career as a website designer. I miss his physical presence, his hugs, his laughter and his helping hand. Shedding the buckets of tears does not remove the pain of losing the experiences I could have had with my son if he was still with us. It does not remove the pain of being denied the physical contact with my son by the foolish driver who treated the traffic rules as if they did not apply to him.

For the months which followed, the thoughts about the person who killed our son hardly entered our minds. He fled Australia to his homeland France to avoid prosecution. We never expected to hear of him again. We never expected an Inquest to take place, nor expected the media coverage. But the Inquest took place in January 2008 and there was an article in the Herald-Sun the following day. It was the media response to the outcome of the Inquest, “No bid for extradition”.

Exactly a week later a journalist from the Herald-Sun newspaper knocked on the front door. On the pretence of finding more information about our son Kevin, he and the camera man found themselves sitting comfortably on the couch in our lounge room. During the brief interview about Kevin, they mentioned the name of the man who killed our son. You can only imagine what an enormous shock it was for us, and for Kevin’s brother and sister, to read about his whereabouts and to see his photo displayed on the front page of the Herald-Sun two days later, on the 1st of February 2008.

People always respond to negative publicity. There was also a response by the public, through a radio talkback and a newspaper poll, to the abovementioned article.

We are living in the world in which almost everyone expects others to be good and moral and considerate, but they do not necessarily display those values in their lives. The best example of such people is the man who killed our son Kevin. In order to drive so dangerously he must have believed he was an infallible and invulnerable, invincible god with superior driving abilities. He must have believed he was above the traffic law. He must have believed that there won’t be any dire consequences for his self-centered actions. His beliefs were his faith in error. To behave with actions confirming what he believed in, showed his disrespect to the Superior Authority, in this case, The Traffic Authority and to the law established by that Authority for his and other drivers benefit.

According to the articles in the Herald-Sun newspapers, the man who killed our son Kevin, and who escaped prosecution by the justice system in Australia, is a free man. But, when I asked myself this question: “Is he really a free man?” My answer was: “No, he is not a free man.”

He is not a free man because the fear, which caused him to flee the country of Australia to escape prosecution, took permanent occupancy in his soul. It imprisoned him. It shut the door and threw the key away. To this day it prevents him from repenting and from seeking forgiveness. It prevents him from taking responsibility for his unlawful actions in order to receive a pardon for his crimes, and to have a clean from guilt conscience. If he won't repent of what he did: 

For the rest of his life he will suffer an emotional turmoil:

  • Not only because he caused an accident,
  • Not only because he killed an innocent person,
  • Not only because he caused injuries to a number of people, [to his passenger, and indirectly to the occupants of the vehicle which followed the car Kevin was driving].
  • Not only because he caused grief to many people,
  • But especially because he escaped from being punished for his crimes.
For the rest of his life:  

  • He will fear others, for after all, how can he be totally confident that no one will ever seek to harm him and his family for what he did.
  • He will never feel totally happy. His own memories and the knowledge that other people may still see him being a killer, even in his old age, will be haunting him.
  • He will never escape the feeling of shame he brought to himself, to his family and to his country. Because of the newspaper articles many Australian people will remember his face, his name and what he did, and the name of the country he came from.
  • He will never escape the thought that he killed a man, an innocent man who never did to him or anyone else any harm. It is a fact written in his life history. Almost on a daily basis he will hear of the car accidents, and such news will remind him of what he did.
  • He will never escape the memories of the accident taking place and what followed. The halting vehicles will always remind him of the screeching sound of the tyres of his big car skidding across the bitumen just before the impact. Any loud knock will remind him of the loud bang of the two cars colliding. The sound of sirens of police vehicles, ambulances and fire brigades will remind him of that day. Some faces will remind him of the accident witnesses, their looks of concern, and at the same time of anger and disgust towards him. Even his scratched and bleeding finger will remind him of the accident.
I could compare his state of mind to a state of mind of a criminal on death row awaiting execution.

  • This is the life sentence which he brought upon himself by his own fears, wrong decisions and irresponsible actions.
  • This is the dire consequences for having a faith in error and behaving in accordance with that faith.

The actions of the man who killed our son Kevin, before and after the accident, and to this day, show his immaturity. We, my husband Geoffrey and I, are very displeased with what he did, but we do not hate him. We do not demand from him an apology. We do not seek revenge. And, we do not seek compensation in any form, neither from him, nor from his family, nor from his Government for all the pain and suffering he caused us. To us he is one of the hundreds of thousands of irresponsible drivers who show their immaturity and lack of consideration towards others, that is, their utter stupidity by the way they drive their vehicles. In our eyes their names are not worthy to be promoted.

We hope that other irresponsible foolish drivers, [and there are many], will learn from the experience of the man who killed an innocent person, our son. We hope that many of them would realise, that as long as they disrespect the Higher Authority, and show that disrespect by disobeying the law established by that Authority for their good, they are on the road of self-destruction. Definitely, they are not better than him just because they have not as yet killed someone’s child.

My advice to all the people who read this website is:

Show high respect for the Higher Authority by keeping the law they established. Obey the law, the traffic regulations, for they are given to you for yours and other people benefit. But, if you disobey the law and cause an accident, then take responsibility for your unlawful actions. Face the Judge and the people you have hurt. If you won’t do that, for the rest of your life you will never feel forgiven and free. For the rest of your life you will suffer a far greater and a far more painful punishment than any ‘corrective discipline’ human justice system could impose upon you.

Written by Bozena K. Gibbs. © 2008    ThePathToEternity.com