Hitchin man takes on double marathon challenge in memory of Baldock 14-year-old who died in tragic road accident

Jake Chapman was 14 when he was killed in a road accident in 2009.

Jake Chapman was 14 when he was killed in a road accident in 2009. - Credit: Archant

A loyal friend of a Baldock couple who lost their 14-year-old son in a fatal traffic collision is taking on a marathon effort for the charity which supported them through the toughest of times.

Darren Matussa will be pounding the roads between Newcastle and South Shields on the Great North Run this Sunday in memory of Jake Chapman, who died from multiple injuries in December 2009 when his bike collided with a car in a night-time accident in Norton Road.

The Hitchin man will also be running the Frankfurt Marathon in October in a bid to raise as much money as possible for The Road Victims Trust, which helped Jake’s parents, Janet and Ray Chapman, when they felt like they had nowhere to turn.

Ray said: “Jake’s death turned our lives upside down and in the early days, I was in a state of shock.

“You put barriers up to protect yourself, your family and close friends. The trouble is if you don’t let those barriers down, you become like a pressure cooker.

“Sooner or later something will blow, what the Trust counsellor does is like a release valve.”

Janet said: “It is easier to talk to a stranger because you know talking to family and friends will upset them.

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“Without the charity I think I would be a mess. The counselling takes the burden away because you can talk and it is in total confidence.”

Darren said: “A lot of people know or have known of someone who has fell victim to a road traffic accident, this great charity supports families of such victims.

“I know Ray and Janet would never have coped without the support of this charity, so please donate anything you can afford – every little helps.”

To support Darren on his two marathon runs, you can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com and searching for Darren Matussa.

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