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Family of Georgia Mann killed after A249 crash start campaign for people to get out of broken down cars

By Chloe Holmwood

The family of a teenager who died after a crash on the A249 have started a campaign urging people to get out of a car that has broken down.

Georgia Mann, who was only 15, was a back seat passenger in a black Audi A1 Sport that had broken down on the Sheppey-bound slip road onto the A249 at Bobbing.

A friend was attempting to put petrol in the car, when it was struck from behind by a white Volkswagen Caddy van shortly before midnight on Wednesday, October 24.

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Charlie Mann and Sammy Law want people to get out of the car if it breaks down after the death of their sister, Georgia,
Charlie Mann and Sammy Law want people to get out of the car if it breaks down after the death of their sister, Georgia,

Georgia, a pupil at Westlands Secondary School, was rushed to London’s King’s College Hospital, where she died two days later.

Hundreds later attended a vigil in memory of the 15-year-old.

Now, her family are trying to raise awareness of staying safe when broken down to prevent others from losing someone they love.

Video: Family launch campaign after Georgia's death

Georgia’s sister Sammy Law said: “We're trying to make people aware they need to get out of the car if they break down.

"I've had a lot of people say 'we thought we needed to stay in the car' and a lot of women have said they're scared to get out of the car, especially at night-time but we want to get the message across that they need to get out no matter what, stand well away from the car and get behind a barrier if possible."

Around 500 people attended a vigil in memory of 15-year-old Georgia Mann
Around 500 people attended a vigil in memory of 15-year-old Georgia Mann

The 26-year-old, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, has had bags made – with the hashtag #ifthecarbreaksdownGETOUT printed on them – which include a hi vis vest and two large foil thermal blankets.

"The hi vis vest is to make sure the driver is seen, the blankets are to make sure any passengers are kept dry and warm and, of course, it's all a reminder to get out of the car," Sammy said.

Charlie Mann, Georgia’s brother, said the pair also want to give talks in schools to teach youngsters, especially teenagers who will soon be getting behind the wheel themselves.

The 21-year-old, from Maidstone, said: "I don't think the dangers of staying in the car are drummed into young people enough.

"That's why we want to go into schools and do some kind of presentation or speech on general road safety."

At an impromptu memorial at Sittingbourne Cricket Club where visitors paid their respects to Georgia Mann
At an impromptu memorial at Sittingbourne Cricket Club where visitors paid their respects to Georgia Mann

When asked how far they'd like to go with the campaign, Sammy said: "We'd like to see this kind of awareness included in the theory test."

She added: "If this campaign helps just one person, that's all that matters."

Sheppey Matters has teamed up with Fixers UK to help promote the campaign.

The charity provides professional resources to help young people campaign on issues they are passionate about.

The bags cost £10 each and the money made from the sales will go towards finding more ways to spread awareness. They will be available from the Sheppey Healthy Living Centre in Sheerness.

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