Ramsgate mum whose son died in Dumpton Park Drive crash has road safety petition presented to Kent County Council

Thomas and mum Keena at 'Ethan's tree'

A petition calling for road safety measures in Dumpton Park Drive has been handed in to Kent County Council today (May 23).

The petition was launched by Ramsgate mum Keena Entwistle last November following the death of her teenage son Ethan in a crash on the road on October 1st 2023.

Ethan was just two days away from his 19th birthday when the car he was a passenger in with a friend and two associates crashed into a tree on Dumpton Park Drive.

Sadly, despite the efforts of his friend Ben Brazil, who was also a passenger in the car, to carry out CPR until medics arrived, Ethan did not survive.

Keena launched the petition, which has so far gained just shy of 2,000 signatures and 44 pages of comments detailing why measures are needed, in the hope that it will prevent the loss of someone else’s loved one.

Ethan (right) with mum Keena and brother Thomas

Keena, who is also mum to 15-year-old Thomas, said: “At present Kent County Council has put some bollards on the road around the bend and by the tree. There is a ‘bend in the road’ sign and ‘slow’ has been put on the road.

“Personally, I would like to have flashing signs with the speed limit – working in a school I know most people are visual learners so if it is flashing they will take notice.

“Broadstairs town council is interested in the 20’s Plenty scheme so they are involved and Deer Park (care centre), Holy Trinity school and Bradstow School want measures on the road as well.”

The teaching assistant is also in favour of graduated licences which aim to boost road safety by making the process of obtaining a full driving licence more rigorous. Brake road safety charity is one of the organisations pushing for the introduction of the scheme in the UK for new drivers aged 17 to 24.

Brake says young and novice drivers aged 17-24 make up 7% of licence holders but are involved in a quarter of the injury collisions and 24% of fatal collisions on Great Britain’s roads, adding that graduated licences have “proven to be effective at reducing young driver crashes where implemented around the world.”

Keena said: “I have joined a group on facebook for parents who have lost children and young people (on the road) and I am completely in favour of the graduated licence. If that was in place the accident (where Ethan lost his life) may not have happened.”

Ethan’s photo was among those of other young people who have lost their lives on the road, displayed on a placard last weekend and installed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire – aiming to show road fatalities are people and not just statistics.

Ethan was a Broadstairs College student who studied accountancy and had just started a mechanics course. Keena said her son was “a larger than life character” who loved Anime, computers and gaming and being with his friends. His loss has “left a giant hole in so many people’s lives,” says Keena.

On the petition page she adds: “This is not just about Ethan anymore; it’s about every child, every family who could be next. I do not want anyone else to ever experience this heartbreak that has now befallen my family. If Ethan’s death can help prevent anyone else having to suffer, then we as a family will know he has left a lasting legacy.”

Keena says the aim of the petition is to make KCC aware there is a continued need for further road safety measures.

She said although she understands action may not be taken until after an inquest into Ethan’s death – a date is yet to be set for this – she wants the county authority to know: “We have not given up, we are still here and we will keep going.”

Keena is now a member of the Dumpton Park Drive road safety group which has been campaigning for measures since the death of a woman cyclist in a collision at the junction with Montefiore Avenue in 2022.

Those involved in the Make Our Road Safe! Dumpton Park Drive Safer Roads Action Group  say there have been at least seven collisions during 2021/22 as well as several near misses.

Suggestions for measures have included extending the yellow lines, installing traffic islands, introducing a 20mph zone or even creating a mini-roundabout.

County Councillor Karen Constantine, who delivered Keena’s petition to County Hall, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Dumpton Park Drive is dangerous and urgently needs traffic calming measures.

“Keena is quite right and very brave to fight for road improvements after the very sad loss of her son Ethan.

“There have been other accidents and near misses on this stretch of road. Locals know that inconsiderate drivers do speed on that section. The truth is we have several hotspots across Ramsgate and yet we seem to be last in line when it comes to funding road traffic management improvements.

“It is ironic that money from Central Government can be spent elsewhere in my division – Margate Road – but not where it is needed.

“Is KCC listening? To date I don’t think so. So today at Keena’s request I handed over her petition by prior agreement with KCCs chairman Cllr Bryan Sweetland.

“I was also able to say a few words about how necessary road safety measures in this area are. I am now awaiting a written response.”

‘Deepest condolences’

A Kent County Council (KCC) spokesperson said: “Any death on Kent’s roads is tragic, and we send our deepest condolences to Ethan’s family.

“As with all fatal and serious crashes, Kent Police undertake a robust investigation to ascertain any causation factors in such incidents. This investigation is still ongoing.

“The findings are subsequently made known to Kent County Council, which upon advice from the police and the coroner where necessary, will subsequently undertake any work to help prevent a similar type of incident from occurring again.

“One death on our roads is too many and we will work with Kent Police and other partners to ensure any issues raised are resolved.”

Keena is urging people to continue signing the online petition which will be presented once more after Ethan’s inquest has been held.

Find the road safety petition by clicking here

19 Comments

  1. I’ve lived in Ramsgate all my life, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this stretch of road, thousands of motorists manage to drive on it perfectly fine without incident.
    It would be wrong to introduce safety measures just because one boy racer wrapped his car round a tree because he was speeding. What’s needed is parents and schools to educate young drivers on the consequences of dangerous driving.
    Am I heartless?,no not really, just fed up with these campaigns to improve a particular road, when its the drivers who are at fault.

    • Totally agree ,angry local. Roads are not dangerous,it’s the drivers,who are taught to steer a car ,to get through a test,but are not taught to be drivers,that comes with experience .I am sorry the mother has lost a son ,

    • Exactly my thoughts too.

      The roads are not the problem, the problem is the incompetent/ self entitled drivers that want to speed and show off.

      Then once they cause an accident it automatically becomes the “roads” fault.

      No the fault here was a prat showing off with his mates and unfortunately it ended in tragedy, BUT it didn’t need too and that’s not the road but the idiotic drivers fault!

      • The facts of speeding in Dumpton Park Drive are that drivers do speed down this road, not just one occasionally. A lady was killed on her bike, an elderly man was in an accident and went through a wall. MANY YEARS AGO A MAN WAS KNOCKED OFF HIS BIKE AND KILLED BY A HIT AND RUN WHO WAS NEVER FOUND AND IT HAS GONE ON SINCE THEN. i HAVE LIVED IN Dumpton Park Drive FOR 26 YEARS and know what I have seen myself , not just reports. Local Councillors have had extended double yellow lines round road junctions. This is all KCC would do for this problem. No traffic calming, no flashing lights, no speed bumps the residents know how bad the speeding traffic can be. Ask them. Children cross the road to go to school, utmost care should be taken for their safety.

  2. I drove down the whole road at 20mph to see what they want. You would have to have a medical incident to hit a kerb let alone a tree at that speed. The big wide road is fine as has Been for decades, I’m sorry but the kid was clearly excessively speeding the tree tells that story, now the victims family want change? School time is fine for 20mph
    In one small section, but 30 is just fine most of the time

  3. A speeding driver doing 60mph in a 30mph area will continue to drive at 60 in a 20 zone, to put it simply, they just don’t care. Rather than catching the idiot drivers putting other peoples lives at risk the 20 is plenty brigade want to punish all motorists with increased journey times, the 20 is plenty brigade are anti car and won’t be happy until we are forced onto filthy germ incubating buses with the feral kids and their unemployed feral parents .

    I really do sympathise for the parents who lose children in crashes like this, I honestly can’t imagine the pain they must feel but a speeding or drug/drunk driver will not stick to 20.

    • “a speeding or drug/drunk driver” will be hard pressed to drive at 60 when everyone else is driving at 20.

      • Phyllis, do you actually believe the things that you post ? Drunk drivers are usually on the roads when the pubs close not at peak times so yes a drunk driver can drive over the speed limit and they regularly do.

        • This is true.
          But after pub chucking out times there will be few, if any, ordinary folk will be walking, cycling or driving along the road.

    • I have used public transport all my life and Concerned’s description of buses as “filthy” and “germ-incubating” is not only largely mistaken but very unfair to most passengers,as well as bus-drivers and cleaners.

      I am of course also a pedestrian and as far as I’m concerned the phrase “motorists’ war on pedestrians” is far more correct than “the war on motorists”. Though the word” war” is not really one I’d use in this context.

      • MmRees.

        You won’t be happy until companies are using horse and carriage to deliver. From a business perspective Lowering the speed limits increases journey times and results in more delivery vehicles on the road because the drivers will carry out less deliveries meaning everyone’s costs will be going up and pollution will rise.

        Buses and Trains are generally filthy and yes they are usually filled with feral chavs, unemployed slackers and single mums just about to pop out kid number 5 funded by the taxpayer.

        • Concerned, you don’t sound as if you use buses much. I travel by bus most days. I have never been in a “filthy” or even just dirty bus. Nor are buses “usually filled” with the kind of person you so rudely describe. The clientele is usually well-behaved. Your description of parents on buses is not only insulting but absurd.

  4. Drivers routinely speed on this road and I have been overtaken whist doing 30mph along it. I have also been crashed into on it by someone coming out of a side road. Everyone needs to slow down a bit, it is a dangerous road.

    • No the road is not dangerous, it’s drivers of all ages that cannot drive properly ,also pedestrians that choose to blindly walk out onto the road ,most on their mobiles and then blame the driver

  5. A speed reminder with flashing lights would be useful but ultimately it’s down to the vehicle driver to be safe, no amount of signage or speed limit reduction will change that one fact, especially when on an empty road.

  6. I know at the time that the driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. Is it known if they were ever charged/convicted?

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