Keane Marsh hopes to cut road trauma following loss of mum Cathy near Bendigo

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This past year has been the toughest of Keane Marsh's life as he has had to adapt to life without his mother, one of the 252 people who lost their lives on Victoria's roads in 2015.

KEANE Marsh knew something was wrong as he approached his grandmother’s house on December 6 last year.

Police cars blocked the driveway, but he wasn’t sure why they were there.

It didn’t occur to him that their presence could be connected to his mother Cathy, who that day was travelling back to Canberra from Victoria with her best friend Helen Parkes after completing the Great Victorian Bike Ride.

“I just remember walking up the stairs and I could hear my aunt screaming... and yeah, the police had just told them,” Mr Marsh said.

They had received the shattering news that 48-year-old Cathy had been killed in a crash between Goornong and Elmore, just half an hour into her journey.

Helen, 61, her dear friend of nearly two decades, also died at the scene.

A car travelling in the opposite direction had crossed onto their side of the road.

“I, the whole time, kept thinking that it was like a nightmare, it doesn’t feel real,” Mr Marsh said.

Mr Marsh and his mother had a strong connection, he speaking of her “sixth sense” for when something was amiss.

“Mum and I were really close and I would talk to her, if I didn’t see her on a particular day, I’d talk to her on the phone two or three times,” he said.

Cathy had her own bookkeeping business and was also a personal trainer.

“She had a lot of friends, she was really fit and always bubbly and was always there for everyone in her life,” Mr Marsh said.

“She always knew what to say and do to make things better for her friends and family who were going through a hard time or just having a bad day.

“She was very supportive and was always busy and active, and loved going to the gym and spending time with family.”

Earlier this week Mr Marsh, his grandmother and his aunt travelled to Bendigo to visit the crash site, placing two crosses at the roadside to commemorate the people now missing from their lives.

They also attended a ceremony in Melbourne last weekend for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Trauma Victims.

Shortly after his mother’s death, Mr Marsh set up the website cathymarsh.org, where people can honour her memory by supporting her favoured charity, the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Mr Marsh said he also tried to ensure the losses of his mother and her friend, a woman he described as akin to a member of his extended family, were not in vain, by sharing his experience in a bid to reduce road trauma.

“It’s very difficult to get something positive out of this situation, but if I can stop one person from injuring or killing someone on the roads, then I’ve done something right, then I’ve made some sort of difference,” he said.

“I’m just trying to make my mum proud.”

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