THE PARENTS of Rory Evans, who died in a collision in Wotton-under-Edge two days after Christmas, have paid tribute to his memory and spoken of their determination to build a lasting legacy for their son.
The 18-year-old was killed after his silver-grey Toyota Roadster MR2 collided with a white Nissan van on an accident blackspot on Wotton Road just before 1.30pm on Friday, December 27.
The former Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School pupil's parents, Tony and Karen, from Tabernacle Road, described their son as “fun, enthusiastic and having a zest for life” and said they wanted something good to come out of such a tragic event.
“Everybody says the same about Rory – he was cheerful, exuberant, always up and carrying people with him - a man of action. He gave people confidence to do things and feel included," they said.
“Rory was always smiling and would be mortified if people were miserable because of him.
"The pain is deep and unimaginable but we have to believe, not in a particularly religious way, that there is more. If you do one thing because you’re inspired by Rory then that’s amazing and he lives on."
The couple said they had come up with the idea of Rory's Well, which is a plan to use Rory's savings and donations to help charity Alive and Well fund a full-time drilling team to instal wells in Sierra Leone.
The poor country has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, primarily caused by diseases from contaminated water.
Each well costs around £1,000 but can give a village a constant fresh water supply and the parents have chosen Taninahun, a village of 800 people, as the place they would like to help.
The Evans family said donations had been arriving from all over the place and they believed they already have enough for all three wells planned at the village, which they called "incredible", and they can now start drilling in a second village.
“There’s nothing more negative than someone Rory’s age dying but perhaps out of this tragedy someone else will live. We're just trying to turn the most negative thing in the world into something positive so Rory can made a difference in the world in the way that we know he would have wanted to had he lived,” they said.
The couple wanted to thank every one for the "fantastic" support they have received from family, friends and neighbours, saying it had been “overwhelming".
Anyone who wishes to donate to Rory’s Well can visit www.justgiving.com/roryswell or www.alivewell.org.uk