Some of the most devastating tragedies of 2021 for South Yorkshire came to pass on on the roads.
They included the deaths of three close friends from Kiveton, who were killed when their car crashed into a tree.
As well as that was the loss of uncle and nephew Tommy and Josh Hydes, who left the road and plunged into the River Don.
The figure for 2021 is, however, down on the 48 deaths seen in 2019 before the pandemic.
Road deaths in 2020 went down to 30, largely due to people travelling much less.
The total number of road traffic collisions, fatal or otherwise, is still being tallied.
South Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Group Inspector Jason Booth said of the figures: “This is positive news and goes to show that some of the positive road awareness campaigns we support as part of the South Yorkshire Roads Safety Partnership are proving successful.
“We will continue to pro-actively promote road safety through our integrated campaign weeks, while at the same time targeting those who do drive dangerously and carelessly across our region.”
Statistics on all of South Yorkshire’s collisions and injuries on the road are released in June.
The names of just some of the people lost on South Yorkshire’s roads this year and the cases that shook the region hardest are detailed below.
– In one of the most devastating stories of the year, three young men were killed in a single car crash on Kiveton Lane on October 24. Martin Ward, 18, and his pals Mason Hall and Ryan Geddes, both 19, were travelling in a white Ford Fiesta when it left the road and collided with a tree. The three teens were all pronounced dead at the scene. Tributes to the three men poured in after the fatal crash, with devastated friends and family struggling to come to terms with the deaths. One resident added: “These young men had their whole lives ahead of them, had plans for tomorrow, they had dreams and ambitions and more importantly, they had parents, brothers and sisters, friends and other loved ones who are now devastated at their loss.”
– In a further tragedy for the community of Kiveton, uncle and nephew Tommy and Josh Hydes died when the car they were travelling in crashed through the railings in Meadowhall and plunged into the River Don on January 30. A major rescue operation was launched and both men were freed from the car – but they could not be saved and were pronounced dead at hospital. Josh, 20, who lived with his mum in Kiveton, had recently passed his accountancy exams, and his family said “everyone loved him”. Tommy, 24, became a dad three months earlier and was said to have doted on his young daughter.
– Ibrahim Warsame died following a crash in the early hours of June 22 as he rode a silver scooter along Ecclesall Road. He was 19. HIs family said he was a “wonderful, caring and loving boy”.
– Charlie Ibrahim Esendemir died when his Volkswagen Golf left the carriageway at the Dronfield Bypass on July 12. He was 27. His mother said Remziye said: “He was a loving man to his family and all of his friends. Anybody who met him would say so. He had enough love for the whole world.”
– Rita Magni was resting at a bus stop while waiting to pick up her children from Phillimore Community Primary School when she was knocked down and killed by a car. Nothing could be done to save her life, despite a huge effort by members of the community and paramedics. She was 30. Her brother in law, Muhammad Amir, said: “She was an excellent person. She was a caring mother and wife.”
– Two young men – Tyrone Forde and his friend ‘Codeye’ – died when the white Volkswagen Golf they were travelling in left the M1 and crashed into a barrier just north of Sheffield. Tyrone’s partner Ria said: “Knowing I won’t be able to see your cheeky smile or be in your arms again hurts me but I know we will meet again and I know you will be watching down on me and our beautiful boy Tyree.”
– A 19-year-old man, named locally as Ibrahim or ‘Ibby’ to his friends, died after his motorbike crashed at 1am on June 22 on Ecclesall Road. Tributes poured in for the teenager whose life was ‘taken too soon’.
– 52-year-old Paul Copsey died in a motorbike crash on Cross Hill in Ecclesfield when he was involved in a collision with a van on June 8. His family said: “Paul was a loving husband, a father of two children, and a grandfather of two grandchildren with another on the way. Words cannot express how devastated we are.”
– Kal Baggins, a man in his 30s, died after his black Toyota MR2 left Hanover Way in Sheffield and came to rest by the underpass on Headford Street. A full council motion is reportedly in the works to have the street lined with barriers.
– A 20-year-old man from Barnsley was killed on February 23 while cycling from Broomhill roundabout towards Cathill roundabout after he was hit by a black BMW X5.