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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Mum brings sobering road safety message to local schools

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It was an accident that ended the lives of five young people and caused immense pain and suffering to their families, friends and communities.

On December 8, 2012 Gold Coast teenager Jordan Hayes-McGuinness’s car left the road while travelling on the m1 Motorway.

Teenager Jordan Hayes-McGuiness lost his life in an accident, when he collided with a stationary vehicle. Four of the five passengers in the vehicle also lost their lives. Image supplied

The young man’s car collided with a stationary vehicle containing five young people aged between 16 and 24.

Jordan died in the crash, along with four of the five people in the other car.

It was later discovered that Jordan was affected by alcohol and cannabis at the time of the accident.

Jordan’s Mum, Melissa McGuinness, could have been forgiven for withdrawing from the world in the aftermath of such a tragedy.

Instead, she launched a campaign to educate school students about the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, making presentations at high schools, outlining Jordan’s story and the impacts his choices made on so many lives.  

This week Ms McGuiness will bring her campaign, You Choose – Youth Road Safety, to the Northern Rivers, speaking to students at Xavier College Ballina, Byron High, and Shearwater Steiner on Friday November 29th 2019.

‘It’s more than a cautionary tale,’ Ms McGuiness said.

‘I challenge young people to imagine it’s  their  Mum addressing the group, speaking about  them. I show them first-hand what unforgivable, multi-generational consequences look like in reality when ‘good kids from good homes’ make split second, selfish decisions.

‘Using a combination of news footage and my family’s own private videos, I seek not to lecture, but to personally demonstrate what life becomes for their brothers, sisters, Mums and Dads if they do what Jordan did. It is raw.’

The Gold Coast Mum said it was clear from the responses to her presentations that the message was getting through.

‘What started as a small experiment has grown significantly beyond what I anticipated,’ she said.

‘My presentation runs for approximately one hour and ten minutes, however, I find the students want to chat and often hug me afterwards. There is consensus that it may well save a life. I pray that’s true.’

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  1. The article seems to give the impression that people don’t die when they are inebreated and not driving a car. They do die in fights and drunken brawls.The message is not to drink alcohol. What Australian is going to do that? To be an Australian in the broad term is to drink Alcohol in excess. A former prime minister would agree with that, and he gave it up.

  2. How courageous. And clear thinking in the face if such grief. No doubt this raw presentation will make a real difference to young people’s driving.

  3. Melissa McGuiness is a brave, amazing woman.
    Undoubtedly the tragic story she shares with young people will cause their memory of it to click in when faced with making split second decisions on the road. I hope the retelling of Jordan’s life and death will ease the pain of her traumatic loss, and keep his Spirit close to her.
    All of us who are, or have been, mothers of teenagers salute her courage.

  4. I note this:
    “It was later discovered that Jordan was affected by alcohol and cannabis at the time of the accident.:”
    This was why smoking was outlawed and banned in hotels and clubs so cannibis could be restricted as in many cases the mixing of alcohol and cannibis together can cause ditsturbances in some people’s brains, such as schizophrenia.
    I am not saying that what happened in this case.
    It is a case and reason why cannabis should not be legalised.

  5. One can only hope that the young drivers remember this as they go out for a good time. If it saves just one life, then Jordan didn’t die in vain. Parental grief can make changes to help prevent others suffering.


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