A FATHER whose two young children were killed by a drink-driver has launched a safety campaign this Christmas.
Steve Kimberley appealed for people to use common sense and not get behind the wheel if they have been drinking or taking drugs.
His daughter Lucy, 10, son Matthew, 12, and family friend Ben Jewell, 19, were killed in a car crash in 1996.
The driver of the other car, Brian Rabin, from Plymouth, also died and was found to be three times over the legal drink-drive limit.
Mr Kimberley was the only survivor.
The dreadful events of that night have lived with him since and he said this year has been particularly painful.
He said: “I can talk about that night now because it can’t hurt me anymore than it already has.
“And if it stops just one person from getting behind the wheel, that’s an absolute result.”
Mr Kimberley, from Helston, is a former president of Cober Valley Rotary Club and also Helston-Lizard Rotary Club.
Until last year he was chairman of Falmouth Football Club and he owns Falmouth estate agency Kimberley’s.
“I think of this as my massive contribution to road safety,” he said.
“You see it all the time and people think they are safe to drink.
“In towns and every village pub you have to drive to, I bet they have locals who know their routes home and think they are safe.
“People also think they can go out and get hammered the night before and be safe to drive in the morning. I always leave it at least 12 hours before I drive again.
“It’s not just drink either. Driving while taking drugs is a serious problem.”
In a message to anyone thinking of driving after a drink, he said: “The horrific events of that summer evening dramatically changed the lives of our families and friends.
“It taught us that life is a gift so precious and fragile and that immortality is the privilege of gods alone which shouldn’t be taken for granted or wasted.
“This year has probably been the hardest for me even 17 years after the accident.
“During the festive season, please can I ask you in the name of Lucy, Matt and Ben, not to drink or take drugs and drive at any time.
“If you can afford to drink, then you can afford a taxi, or better still, nominate or take turns as a designated driver.
“To stay off alcohol won’t kill you, but drinking might.”
On the occasion of his daughter’s birthday in November, he added: “My little daughter Lucy would have been 28 years old this year.
“She was a beautiful, intelligent and funny young lady with such a sunny outlook on life.
“I am so proud to have had the privilege to be her father.”