A loved up couple took this smiling, happy selfie just 20 minutes before a motorbike accident which killed them both.
Mum-of-two Lee-Anne Parkin, 40, was travelling to meet new partner Steve Carroll’s family for the first time when the bike they were both riding on was involved in a collision in Driffield on March 31.
Steve, 43, who ran The Regal club in Cleckheaton, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Lee-Anne was airlifted to the trauma unit in Teesside, before dying of her injuries seven days later.
Now Lee-Anne’s sister Beth Billington has launched a petition calling on the government to fund air ambulances, crediting the “incredible” Great North Air Ambulance who were at the scene “within minutes”, sparing no efforts to save Lee-Anne’s life.
Beth, from Wakefield, has shared the photo in the hope it will encourage as many people as possible to sign the petition - which already has more than 80,000 signatures.
The 25-year-old said: “I know it sounds clichéed, but my sister was really in the prime of of her life.
“She was just so happy - she had this sort of laugh like a massive heckle and I can’t get it out of my head.”
Lee-Anne, from Wrenthorpe, was riding pillion on Steve’s bike when it crashed on the B1251, a mile west of Sledmere village, as they travelled to meet his family at a nearby pub for a Mother’s Day meal.
Just a few minutes earlier, the two had stopped at a café in the village and posed for a selfie before continuing the journey.
Beth added: “Every day without her is a challenge. Lee-Anne was training to be a case worker with Beaumont Legal.
“She and Steve had only been together about ten weeks but no one had seen either of them so happy.
“Lee-Anne’s sons Roman, 16, and 13-year-old Rio have been left devastated by her death.
“They were going to meet his family for the first time,” Beth said, “then come back to Wakefield to see my mum for Mother’s Day.”
The air ambulance service was already an issue close to Beth’s heart, after losing her friend Beth Jones in a tragic minibus crash on the M62 in April 2013.
She added: “I was at my mum’s house on the day of Lee-Anne’s funeral when the idea for the petition came into my head. The air ambulance were amazing and got to the scene in minutes.
“I set one up but nearly forgot about it for a bit as it took a few weeks to be approved. It took a while to get a few signatures so I re-shared it on Facebook with Lee-Anne and Steve’s story, and all of a sudden I had thousands of signatures.
“ I’ve had hundreds of messages from strangers saying they’ve signed it. If it can do enough to even get the government to give these services just a grant a year that would make me so happy.” The Great North and Yorkshire Air Ambulance Services currently receive no funding, relying entirely on charitable donations.
The air ambulances require around £12,000 a day to maintain their services saving lives across the region.
Beth added that another positive outcome from the tragedy was that Lee-Anne went on to save five women’s lives after her organs were donated.
“My mum has always been against organ donation,” she said. “She’s always said you should leave with what you were born with. They brought it up at the hospital and she made a really difficult decision to donate Lee-Anne’s organs.”
Lee-Anne’s kidneys were donated to two women who had been on the register for as long as 11 years, while her pancreas, liver and heart were donated to three other women in life-saving operations. The rest were donated for medical research.
Beth added: “What these ambulances do is amazing. If everyone who signed the petition gave just a pound it would make so much difference.”
To sign the petition go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/ and search for ‘The Air Ambulances to be government funded.’