EVERY day Joanne Van Gaans drives past the tree where her son was killed in a car crash.
It serves as a constant, painful reminder of the tragic event in February last year that cut short the life of Kiefer Wilson.
The 19-year-old was a passenger in a car that smashed into a tree in Hertford Street, Sebastopol.
Left with severe chest injuries, he died just hours later in hospital. Almost eighteen months on, Ms Van Gaans said the accident had devastated her family and she could not put into words the grief she still felt.
She struggles to watch the news without memories of the horrific accident flooding back to her.
”You can’t explain the impact it has on your life,” she said. “When you see a car wrapped around a tree I can’t help but imagine how Kiefer felt. That’s how my son died, gasping for air with his heart pierced.”
The latest TAC data shows serious crashes are on the rise in the Ballarat region. In the Moorabool Police Service Area, which surrounds much of the city, fatalities have tripled in the last three years.
Ms Van Gaans said the statistics did not surprise her and only intensified the pain.
“There’s no winners in this, no glory, no fun,” she said.
”It’s horrific that these young kids don’t understand the impact of their actions.”
Ms Van Gaans said she hoped to one day talk to young drivers about the dangers on the road.