Mum of Josh Hibbert pleads for drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts after his death in Swingate on A258
The mother of a teenager killed in a crash has choked back the tears to urge others to wear seatbelts and drive safely.
Emma Hibbert joined police to make a moving video following the death of Josh Hibbert at just 17, when the car driven by pal Lewis Farlow crashed on the A258 at Swingate, near St Margaret's.
At times, Mrs Hibbert wipes away the tears, as she tells how her life has changed forever.
She says: "Josh was a very funny lad, very loud, but that’s why we loved him.
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Josh Hibbert was 'a very funny lad'
"He was so close to his brothers and sister and would do anything for anybody.
"That day changed all our lives forever and I would not want anyone else to have to go through what we have been through!
She says Josh was the only one in the car not wearing a seatbelt.
Josh, of Fairview Gardens, Walmer, died when he was a passenger in the back seat of a Ford Fiesta which crashed just off the A258 Dover-Deal road near the Swingate in October 2011.
Canterbury Crown Court heard Lewis Farlow, 18, of The Maltings, Walmer, had been "bravado" driving in his sister's red Ford Fiesta – showing off to three school pals.
He had just passed his test a week earlier, and lost control as the car entered a sharp right hand turn at speed and left the road and crashed into a field.
Josh died at the scene, and Farlow admitted causing death by careless driving in February this year.
He was sentenced to six months in prison and banned from driving for four years with an extended re-test.
Mrs Hibbert said: "There are so many ifs, buts and maybes.
"Would Josh have lived if he was wearing a seatbelt? We will never know, but I would urge everyone to make sure they are wearing their seatbelt, they are there for a reason.
"I worry for young drivers, don’t pack your cars out, don’t show off or drive too fast. It’s just not worth the risk.
"No-one should have to go through what we have been through."
Det Sgt Miles Bishop, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This tragic incident left a young man dead and another spending a considerable time in prison.
The scene of the fatal crash
"This case has no winners, only people who have suffered anguish, hurt and trauma.
"The last two years have been a difficult time for all involved, especially Josh's family, who will never really recover from their loss.
"Their constant resilience and dignity during such circumstances has never ceased to amaze me."
He said the crash was not as a result of a momentary lapse of concentration, but an extended period of showing off, bravado and driving too fast.
"That day changed all our lives forever and I would not want anyone else to have to go through what we have been through" - Josh's mum Emma Hibbert
Josh's family wanted to impress, he said, the terrible consequences such actions can have.
He added: "Let this be a timely reminder to motorists to drive with care and attention at all times."
In total, 587 people were killed or seriously injured on Kent's roads between April last year and April this year - with 75 of those being under 18.
Since April this year there have been 19 deaths on the county’s roads - the same as last year - but there have been about 20 more people seriously injured than the same time last year.
Video: Josh's mum Emma Hibbert speaks out after his death in a car crash in the Kent Police video
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