Mum of dead teen fights for speed cut

Caron Heatherington holds a picture of her 18-year-old son Shane Sloan after he was killed in a car crash last week.
Caron Heatherington holds a picture of her 18-year-old son Shane Sloan after he was killed in a car crash last week.
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A GRIEVING mum today signed a petition to reduce the speed limit on the road where her son died just days ago.

Weeping into her hands, the mother of Shane Sloan opened her heart to the Echo about the tragic death of the 18-year-old.

Caron Heatherington, 47, said: “He was so happy and he had everything to live for. He was happy at home, at college, and was looking forward to work.”

Shane had passed his driving test just five weeks before the accident that claimed his life.

The popular skateboarder was driving round a corner on the Mount Pleasant road, leading from Washington Highway, when he slammed into a lamppost.

Pals driving in cars behind rushed to his rescue while a passer-by, who happened to be Shane’s driving instructor’s wife, carried out first aid – a move that helped prolong his life.

Shane, of Penshaw, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital but tragically lost his fight for life five days later – a week ago today.

Mum Caron is now joining a fight for the speed limit to be cut on the road in a bid to save more lives.

She said: “There have been quite a few people who have said they’ve lost control at that corner and gone into a fence. Shane has been the unlucky one.

“There’s no sign there to say slow down and people are coming off the motorway at 60mph round a bend and it’s inexperienced drivers, which Shane was, that this happens to.”

Caron paid an emotional tribute to her son who had his whole life ahead of him.

The former Biddick School pupil was gearing up to graduate from Hylton Road college where he had been studying mechanics to go and work at his step-dad Dave’s Bishop Aukland garage, which he one day hoped to run.

“He had six weeks left at college and all he talked about was the garage and how he wanted to work there and run it himself,” Carol, 46, said.

“He had so many friends, who have all been amazing, and he would do absolutely anything for anyone. He was the perfect man.

“I can’t understand why this has happened. It’s so unfair.”

Friends of Shane, who visited him daily in hospital, have been rallying round to help support his family.

They are also fund-raising to get a plaque erected in his memory at Princess Anne skatepark in Washington and get it re-named Shorty’s park after him.

“His group of friends have been absolutely fabulous and I’ve been touched by everything they have done,” Caron said.

Shane’s funeral will take place on Friday at All Saints’ Church, Penshaw, at 1.30pm.

All friends are welcome and have been asked to dress casually.

All donations should be made to Oxclose and District Young People’s Project, who are collecting for the plaque in Shane’s memory.

Andrew Jackman, interim assistant head of traffic safety at Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland City Council wishes to offer its condolences to Shane’s family for their tragic loss.

“If the council receives a petition requesting changes to speed limits on this stretch of road, we will investigate the matter fully to see what remedial measures might be required.

“This includes site visits and a review of the accident history.”