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Mother's vow over speedboat tragedy

Published 09/07/2015

The Milligan family were devastated by a speedboat accident in Cornwall in 2013
The Milligan family were devastated by a speedboat accident in Cornwall in 2013

A woman who lost her husband and young daughter in a speedboat accident has said she is "determined" not to let the tragedy shape the lives of their other children.

Victoria Milligan, whose TV executive husband Nick, 51, and eight-year-old daughter Emily were killed in Cornwall's Camel Estuary in May 2013, said she did not want their three surviving children overshadowed by it as they grow up.

The personal trainer, 43, who herself lost a leg in the accident, spoke as she was unveiled as an ambassador of a 10k run in London in October, in which she will run using a "blade" prosthetic.

She said the family were coming to terms with their "new normal" life with the help of the Child Bereavement UK charity. She is a patron of the charity alongside the Duke of Cambridge and will be raising funds for it by running the Vitality WestRun London 10k.

Mrs Milligan, from Wandsworth in west London, said she and Amber, 14, Olivia, 12, and seven-year-old Kit were a "strong team" although the youngsters did not like talking about their emotions.

"In a way I think they are going to grow up to be very strong people because they know bad things can happen in life. I'm hoping I will make them strong characters as they grow up," she said.

"I don't want them to be defined by what happened. I don't want them growing up thinking 'I'm a failure because of what happened when I was 11'. I'm determined that is not going to happen to them."

Mr Milligan, managing director of Sky's advertising sales division Sky Media, died along with his daughter on May 5 2013, when the family of six were thrown into the water by the sharply turning speedboat which then circled dozens of times at high speed and collided with them.

Mrs Milligan, who was at the wheel, lost a leg in the tragedy and the surviving children were also injured.

An inquest last year heard that neither adult was wearing the kill cord safety device, which is designed to cut the power in an emergency.

Mrs Milligan has since raised more than £250,000 for charities including the RNLI but admitted she will have to get used to running with the blade before the race around the streets of London's fashionable Kensington and Chelsea.

She said she had had some "stares" while running near her home, but added: "People's reactions have been amazing. They have been coming up to me and high-fiving me and saying how great it is."

She added that her clients had also been "incredibly supportive".

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