"That tree you pass every day is where my beautiful daughter took her last breath."

Please slow down.

Editor’s note: Hope Dell, 17, had just graduated from Caloundra State High School when the car she was a passenger in slammed into a tree.  

To this day, that tree is decorated in her memory and in this post, her mother Faye Jennings writes about how she wants Hope’s story to make others think twice before speeding. 

I’m sharing this in the hope it gets through to those who choose to disregard the law. It’s certainly not meant to offend any of the beautiful people supporting Hope’s page of love.

“You’re right behind me – so close that I can’t even see your number plate. I can see you though and I’m sure you can see me glancing at you in my rear view mirror.

Your facial expressions say a lot – I can read the impatience on your face. I can even see your lips moving and your hands leaving the steering wheel as you gesture obscenities towards me.

It troubles me and makes me feel anxious, but it is what it is. If you feel you need to start your day off in this manner then that’s your choice.

Hope Dell. Image via Facebook.

You see, I drive this same route to work every day. I see you and others like you every morning. Your impatience to get to your destination is evident in your driving. You’re wound up, angry, impatient – all because of me. You’re making a conscious choice to start your day off this way. I get it.

But what you don’t know is this – I won’t budge over the speed limit.

The speed limit on this stretch of road is set at 70 kph. It’s been set at that speed by experts who have determined that’s a safe speed for vehicles to travel.

What you also don’t know is I’m Hope’s mum.

There’s a tree you pass every day – a tree that’s not like the others you pass along this road. It’s to your right just as you approach the roundabout. Through your anger you might recall seeing it. It’s decorated with bright colourful windmills – has little trinkets of love nailed to it – and the last remains of a car beneath it.


This tree is the place that my beautiful daughter Hope took her last breath – the car she was passenger in hit this tree and as a consequence of the terrible and irreversible injuries she sustained – she passed away – shattering all that I know in life and taking away one of the most treasured things my heart held tight.

The car she was a passenger in was speeding. It hit the tree with force and she was killed – not instantly but a little while later in the arms of a stranger.

Leaving me without a daughter, her twin sister without her twin, her step brother and sister without their step sister, Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents and friends without their Hope.

My daughter was so beautiful.

She deserved to live a happy and full life. She was 17 – had only just graduated high school. She had her whole future ahead of her.

She no longer has those opportunities.

Speeding kills. Your arrogant attitude to driving kills. So if you see me driving along that stretch of road and chose to speed – please carefully overtake me.

Don’t sit up in my bumper – I’m not going any faster than 70 kph. If you chose to endanger your life and that of others, do it well away from me. I have the remains of a beautiful family to return home safely to each night.