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By: Nazan Fennell Added: 26/06/2014 05:11 Last Edit: 14/07/2014 00:56 By: Phil Rabbitt

Schoolgirl Hope killed by trucker who sent 11 messages Heartbroken mum's plea to stop carnage EXCLUSIVE. By Vikki White

NAIL polish bottles, a school bag covered in pink hearts and some photos are mum Nazan Fennell's most cherished possessions.

They are all she has left to remind her of her youngest daughter Hope, killed crossing a road on her bicycle.

The 13-year-old was run over on a pedestrian crossing by a lorry driver who had been texting his girlfriend seconds before. He was deleting the messages as Hope lay dying under his wheels.

He was jailed for six months but served only three. Now Nazan, 47, is calling for those texting at the wheel to be banned for a year - like drunk drivers.

She said: "There is no recovering from Hope's loss. Our family is destroyed. How many more people do we need to lose before we take action? It is about time an automatic one-year ban was introduced for anyone caught texting at the wheel.

"Those series of text messages killed my daughter. The message needs to hit people hard."

New research shows texting when driving slows reactions times by 37%, compared to 13% for those on the drink-drive limit.

Grief-stricken single mum Nazan had to take strong medication to cope with Hope's death and rarely left her home in King's Heath, Birmingham.

She said: "Hope was very beautiful but also humble and gentle. I couldn't wait to see her grow, she was full of ideas. She talked a lot about being a nurse. She was a one off, an amazing little lady."

Sobbing Nazan, originally from Turkey, said the house is not the same. "It was so colourful. It was all lipstick, nail polish, lip gloss. You could smell chewing gum everywhere and the sweet sprays that young girls wear."

Nazan had bought Hope a bike instead of a kitten for her 13th birthday on September 18. A decision she will always regret.

On the morning of November 7, 2011, Nazan accompanied her daughter to school and hugged her goodbye.

She was confident Hope would carry on following her instructions to ride carefully on the pavement not the road. She thought Hope was playing with friends when two policemen knocked at her door at 6.20 pm.

Sobbing Nazan recalled: "They said, 'There's no easy way to tell you this, Miss Fennell, but Hope was killed in a traffic accident.' "I spent quite a lot of time trying to convince them that they had made a terrible mistake. I was trying to tell them she was too young to die."

Nazan remembers telling Hope's brother Léo and sister Paris, who are now 17 and 19.

"Léo howled for about two-and -a-half hours. He was in so much pain. Paris ran into his room and told her. She just looked at me. Then she went to her room and was sick everywhere."

Hope was on a pedestrian crossing in King's Heath when the lights turned green and she was hit by a lorry. Driver Darren Foster, 39, accelerated forward in the 18-ton vehicle trapping Hope underneath and dragging her.

Pedestrians screamed at Foster to alert him but he stayed in his cab and deleted 11 text messages he had sent in a row with his girlfriend in the 20 minutes before the crash.

Foster was jailed for six months at Birmingham Crown Court in I September after admitting dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice - for trying to hide the text messages.

A few days later Hope was laid to rest at a nearby cemetery.

Nazan, a former drugs counsellor, said: "I'm told there was an incredible funeral but I couldn't see for the tears in my eyes. Hope was in a beautiful white coffin. We had hundreds of sunflowers. She was buried in them. When she was seven or eight she grew a sunflower and it kept growing. It was so big.

"And the house was full of lilies. I don't know if I'll ever be able to stand lilies again.

"Nothing was going to help but in time I started feeling the warmth and love from people. I've got an amazing community."

In February this year an inquest ruled Hope's death was caused by a road traffic collision.

Foster, from Derby, told the hearing: "I checked each of my mirrors before pulling away on green. I just didn't see her." Nazan stormed out of the inquest after the coroner ruled Foster was not to blame. She is convinced he was distracted by his phone at the fatal moment but this can't be proven.

Killers She said: "There should be an appropriate sentence for such a huge loss. He wasn't paying attention. It obviously had a lot to do with his texting. What message is going out after these sentences? That's what worries me most."

A new study by the Transport Research Laboratory shows that more than 500 people are killed or seriously injured because of driver distraction each year. Punishments range from three points on a licence and a £100 fine to a year's ban.

TRL found reaction times for those texting are 37% slower, and 46% for drivers making a mobile call. This compares with 13% for those on the drink-drive limit and 21% for cannabis users.

Nazan said: "One text can kill someone. It must be made completely unacceptable.

"Road crimes aren't seen as real crimes. When you crash into somebody and cause their death it's called an accident. But you are making a decision to pick up your phone. If anybody is seen on the phone there should be an immediate ban."

On King's Heath High Street a white "ghost" bicycle stands by the crossing as a memorial. Nazan said: "I'll never get back Hope but if I can save another child from such a tragic death my efforts will be worth it."

If I can save another child my efforts will be worth it

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