She is still torn between the grief of losing her son and the pain of knowing what killed him.
After 12 months, police have finally told her exactly what happened to her son, but she won’t learn until they finish an investigation, the British mother of three recalled on Monday.
Paige Donovan, 29, of Birmingham, stood forlornly on a promenade where her 19-year-old son, Sam, was killed in the crash in Lagos, Nigeria, in August 2017.
Police said Sam was on his way to film music at the World Music Festival when he braked suddenly due to construction at the toll gate. They believe the speedometer in the Hyundai Accent he was driving registered at 45 mph when it reached 40 mph in a 20mph zone, the Associated Press reports. The car crashed into a tractor-trailer, killing both Sam and the driver of the truck. The speedometer shows an average speed of 56 mph from start to finish of the journey, AP reports.
Paige Donovan told the British news service she was “absolutely devastated” to learn her son died of broken neck and lacerated liver. She wanted answers.
“I kept waiting for the phone call, but nothing,” Donovan said. “We don’t know why he stopped or how long he was traveling. My husband, who still works, and I didn’t see anything that was unsafe.”
Today, Donovan said she has kept busy. She looks after her three young children with the help of family and friends.
“It’s been really hard for me mentally and physically,” she said. “As a parent you just want to know why something like this happened to your son.”
Donovan doesn’t know what the future holds for her family.
“I’ll probably just look for a quiet job working in a nanny agency so I can help the kids with their education,” she said. “I just want to know what happened.”
Most times, Donovan and her husband don’t talk about their son.
“When I’m feeling down about something in my life, I just turn to my husband for support,” she said. “I thought I would always have my husband. But now I’m looking for my future too. It’s scary.”
The family doesn’t wish to speak with the truck driver, they told the Sun.
The accident happened at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, Nigeria, on Aug. 6, 2017. Sam’s family was waiting to enter the bridge when the crash happened. Police are asking the truck driver to come forward in a bid to understand what caused the fatal crash. A local lawyer who is representing Sam’s family, Chris Pine, said an inquest could determine the truck driver’s responsibility in the crash.
The dead teenager’s brother, Aaron, has had to miss his high school prom because his family is only now finding out what happened.
“It’s so different when you think it’s not going to happen because you know it’s going to happen, it’s coming,” he told the Sun. “But it’s been 12 months and we have no answers.”
“My God why did he have to die,” Aaron Donovan’s mom told the Sun. “I didn’t know if I’d get through it. It’s been hard.”
This incident is the latest in a string of deadly incidents at the tollgate.
The Gate manager said it will stop charging tolls at the toll gates around the clock. The weekly closing times were lifted from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.