Heartbroken partner of Sunderland dad Richie Jordan tells how she wants to spread road safety message in his memory
The heartbreaking loss of Sunderland dad Richie Jordan, who was killed in a car crash, will be felt by his loved ones forever.
But Carol King, Richie’s partner and the mother of his two daughters, hopes that telling his story will stop other families from going through the same tragedy.
Richie was just 33 when he lost his life in a collision on the A19 at Houghton in August 2019.
He was a passenger in a speeding Mercedes, driven by 42-year-old Mark Thompson, which hit the back of another car. Richie was thrown from the vehicle and died from his injuries.
Thompson, of Seaton Crescent, Seaham, was jailed for six years and eight months at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, August 31 after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing.
The court also heard that Thompson was over the legal drink and drug-drive limits at the time of the crash.
While no sentence can compensate the loss of Richie’s life, Carol wants to focus her energies on campaigning for road safety in a bid to create something positive from the heartbreak of losing her partner.
She told the Echo: “For me, to get some sort of closure and start working on something positive for Richie is going to help me live my life, and give something positive to my girls as well.
"It’s what Richie would have wanted.”
The couple's eldest daughter Quinn, now aged three, was only 19 months old when her dad passed away. In 2020, Carol welcomed her and Richie's second child Gray into the world.
Carol spoke of her daughters in a victim impact statement, which she read out in court on Tuesday.
It said: "Richie doted on Quinn and her on him. She still even now asks for her Daddy. She picks flowers for his grave and draws him pictures.
"She thinks he lives in a castle in the sky. He should be here."
The statement continued: "We now have a second daughter, Gray. I was six weeks pregnant the day Richie was taken from us. Eleven days following on from burying him I found out I was pregnant.
"I couldn't even tell him he was about to become a father for the second time. Richie never got the chance to meet or hold his own child, another perfect little girl who has brought comfort in the darkest of times."
Mum-of-two Carol also paid tribute to Richie’s infectious smile and personality, adding that he was one of “life’s good people”.
And it’s the pain and suffering of having this special person snatched away from his family that Carol will channel into educating others.
She welcomed the sentence passed on Thompson at court, and spoke of her hopes to educate young drivers on the devastating impact of breaking the law.
"I can’t see that punishments are ever going to be enough,” Carol said.
"But awareness is something that could change half the people's minds in the room.
"I just want to carry on telling my story, Richie’s story, my daughters’ story to create as much awareness as possible.
"That’s all I feel I can do.”