On 30 January 1992, Steven Whittingham, who was then 27, was on his way home having filled his car with petrol for a journey to work to Huddersfield the next day. After leaving the petrol station, he had less than half a mile to travel to his home. What happened in the following few minutes was to devastate the lives of hundreds of people, as unbeknown to him, two well-known local car thieves, who had been taking drugs and drinking all day, had stolen a car. The driver of the car was 18 years old, the other was just 13. Both boys were drunk. The stolen car was soon travelling in excess of 80 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. The 18 year old, who was driving, inevitably lost control of the car, careering down the road at a huge speed, narrowly missing two boys waiting at a bus stop. They then hit Steven’s car head on with a combined speed of 110 miles per hour. The thieves’ car caught fire and the car thieves were helped out by local passers-by. They ran away, leaving Steven to die in his mangled car.
Steven was the dearly loved son of Carole and Frank Whittingham. Shortly after Steven’s death, she and her husband identified a need for a support system to help people who had suffered a similar bereavement. Those people could help to support each other and in the summer of 1993, the SCARD helpline was set up. Over the years since then, they have helped to support thousands of families all over the UK and have also assisted families abroad.
SCARD eventually got its name in 1999 when a small group of bereaved and injured people met together. The SCARD name was appropriate because whilst standing for the Support and Care After Road Death and Injury, SCARD also described how those people felt after losing a loved one or after being injured in such a violent and unnecessary way.