GRIEF-stricken parents whose teenage son was killed in a car crash spent Christmas miles from home in an attempt to escape their heartbreak.
Danny Evans, 18, from Connah’s Quay, died when the car in which he was a passenger hit a wall and overturned on the A548 Sealand Road in February.
The promising athlete and Welsh champion high jumper had been on his way to Chester for a night out with friends.
Parents Debbie and Mark, along with children Lee, 21, and Sophie, 17, bypassed their traditional Christmas celebration for a stay in a log cabin in Cheadle, Staffordshire.
Debbie, of Normanby Drive, said: “We had a big family routine at Christmas.
“Christmas Eve would always be spent with friends and on Christmas Day, my three children all had to be up at the same time and open their presents together.
“That was the rule. But this year we couldn’t do it.
“We had no decorations and no cards. We just had to break the routine and get away.
“We stayed in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere and never went through the door.
“Nobody knew anything about us or where we had come from.
“We didn’t even realise it was Christmas Day.”
Debbie says the break made it slightly easier on the family, who are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Danny.
She said: “We could not get a signal on our mobile phones so did not speak to anyone for days.
“If I had stayed at home I would not have got through it.”
Danny, a Deeside College student, had just completed his level two qualification in athletics coaching.
He was a member and coach at Deeside Athletics Club and his dream was to go to university to progress his career.
His father, Mark, who works at the Airbus factory in Broughton, has just returned to work full-time after a course of counselling.
Brother Lee became a self-employed joiner in June while sister Sophie, who left a midwifery course after her brother’s death, is working part-time in an office until she is ready to return to her studies.
Debbie thanked friends and family for all of their support through this difficult time.
“We are getting dozens of text messages not only from Danny’s friends but from their parents too,” she added.
“That was the kind of lad Danny was – he made sure they got to know the entire family.”