Bench tribute to crash victim and unborn baby


Rory Sheehan

A PERMANENT tribute has been unveiled to a woman who was killed along with her unborn baby in a horrific crash.

Calvin Craig Connah, 22, of Ffordd Derw, Leeswood, near Mold, was jailed for five years in January for causing the death of Maelor Hospital worker Christina Barchetti, 35, of Beecherley Road, Wrexham, and her unborn baby Bella by dangerous driving.

The tragedy occurred on the A541 at Pontblyddyn, on October 22, 2012.

It left the community in shock and floral tributes still adorn the spot on the busy Wrexham to Mold road where the crash happened

Now the Barchetti family, of Hillbury Road, Wrexham, have installed a permanent reminder of their daughter and granddaughter Bella with a memorial bench placed in one of Miss Barchetti’s favourite places – the park in Howard’s Field, near Hillbury Road.

Miss Barchetti’s mother, Carla, said: “We have planned this for quite a while. We chose the location on Hillbury Road because Christina always used to walk her dog there and I used to take her there as a child.

“Her brother, Martin, completed the Manchester 10km run to raise more than £1,000 for both the bench and a donation to the maternity ward at the Maelor.

“The bench looks lovely. We are really pleased with it.”

Miss Barchetti, who was driving perfectly properly at 40mph in the wet conditions on her own side of the road, suffered terrible injuries in the impact as her car was pushed back through a wall into woodland after Connah lost control of his vehicle and smashed head on into her Ford Ka.

She died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, where she worked and her baby daughter, Bella, was stillborn during an emergency Caesarean operation.

As the bench was unveiled yesterday, Miss Barchetti’s partner Graham Clarke said: “I would like to thank all the local people and Christina’s family and friend who have kindly donated towards Christina and her baby daughter’s memorial bench.

“I would also like to thank Tim Pegg, of Persimmon Homes, for their donation and allowing us to have the bench in Howard’s Field Park, and a big thank you to everybody for preparing the base for the bench.

“We hope all the local people will enjoy the park and the bench as it was Christina’s favourite place to walk her dog, Conka. We know Christina will be proud of her brother Martin and his partner Sarah for running the Manchester 10km and raising money to support the labour ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.”

Miss Barchetti’s family are seeking the public’s support in a crusade to change the law relating to the prosecution of motorists who have caused the death of an unborn child by dangerous driving.

The ‘Bella’s Law’ petition, which “asks Parliament to introduce or amend the law to enable a charge of causing death of the unborn child, by careless or dangerous driving”, had been signed online by 1,787 people as of yesterday at 5pm.

“We also have an online petition, which we would be most grateful if everybody could sign it for baby Bella. It is for her to be recognised,” added Mr Clarke.

To sign the petition visit http://

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