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Have a 'no questions asked' policy for partying young people, says grieving father

Adam Goodwin aboard the MV <I>Oleander</I> before he became the ninth road fatality of 2010.<I></I>

A grieving father urged parents to ensure young people know they have someone ready to pick them up in the middle of the night this Christmas.David Goodwin, father of 22-year-old crash victim Adam Goodwin, spoke out during the launch of the annual Christmas road safety campaign.Addressing police, the media, and road safety officials he said: “Children should always know their parents will come and collect their children at some crazy hour.“Children should have cell phones and know that a parent is waiting at home for them.”Adam Goodwin, a young sailor and officer of the watch on the Spirit of Bermuda, was killed when his bike hit a wall on South Road in Smith's just after 4am on Sunday, October 3.He was the ninth person to lose their life on Bermuda's roads this year, and four more have died since then. His father said young people should realise many parents are “more than willing to do whatever they have to do, no questions asked,” even if there is an “element of embarrassment or discomfort” for young people in asking for a ride home.His family still does not know what led to Adam's crash, and is awaiting an inquest into his death.Asked if alcohol played a role, Mr Goodwin, from Smith's, replied: “We don't know. It's hard to believe, being Adam, but being 22 he was out with his friends.”He believes exhaustion may well have been a factor, however. His son had recently completed a long journey home from Australia where he was training to be a master mariner at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania.He then slept on the Sloop during Hurricane Igor and had been very busy in the days leading up to his death, which occurred after he'd met friends for a reunion.“He was one of those kids with too much on the go,” he said of the talented young sailor.Mr Goodwin slept on the sofa all night waiting for his son to come home. But at 5am, his family got a call from one of Adam's friends, alerting them to the accident and telling them to come to the Emergency Department.He told the Bermuda Sun in the aftermath of his son's death: “Adam was very proud. I just wish he had called me and I would have picked him up no questions asked.”Yesterday, Mr Goodwin, who is married to Julie and has two other children, aged 25 and 29, acknowledged this Christmas will be “very difficult” for his family.“We're blessed with three incredibly talented and sensible children, three very careful kids,” he said.“Adam in particular has lived through many dangerous situations. We are in disbelief he would be the one.”In a message to parents and young people this festive party season, he said: “Please look after each other, recognise the devastation to a family is greater than can be imagined.“I want all kids to read that parents do lie awake and worry. I want all kids to know that they can call on anybody.“And I want parents to realise to save any anguish communicate on a regular basis with your kids.“Give them this ‘no questions asked' philosophy. It's better than the call I got.”