Woman brings cardboard cut-out of brother to festival after he died in car crash

Ashleigh Rogers’ brother Ben died in a car crash a few months before the festival – she received the best reaction from his friends

The cut out of Ben with Ashleigh at the festival
The cut out of Ben with Ashleigh at the festival

A woman headed to a festival with a cardboard cut out of her younger brother who had died in a car crash a few months before – so that he didn’t ‘miss out’ on the experience. Ashleigh Rogers, 26, from Swansea, Wales, lost her 19-year-old brother, Ben Rogers, in a fatal car crash in May.

Instead of missing the festival he had booked with friends, Ashleigh decided to attend Wales’s biggest dance festival ESCAPE in his honour. Now childminder Ashleigh has shared the hugely positive response she got from people who wanted their photo with Ben, and how people loved what she’d done.

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Ashleigh (R) with her brother’s cut out and a friend
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Image:

@ashjaderog / CATERS NEWS)

Ben was a very outgoing person, Ashleigh says
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Image:

@ashjaderog / CATERS NEWS)

Ashleigh has also revealed Ben’s cutout got plenty of female attention too, with the cutout covered in lipstick from the large amount of kisses Ben received by the end of the festival. Ashleigh explains: “When I was at the festival I was getting stopped so many times by people asking me about what it was and asking to take photos.

“I don’t know where the idea came from – I was going to sell Ben’s ticket as he was going with his best friend, but I decided I’d go in honour of him and experience it on behalf of him as he never got the chance.

“Then I thought, if I’m going, he’s coming with me! It was the first festival he’d have gone to, and he just had to go.

“I was a little embarrassed walking around with it as I could hear people saying ‘OMG it’s Ben’ but I feel comfortable talking about it and when I saw his friends, it was fine.

“Ben was a very outgoing person, he loved going out and was very chatty. I didn’t realise he had so many friends but many people came up to me wanting photos, it was like I was famous.

“Everyone knew him and it made me quite emotional – it made me cry.

“The amount of people who wanted to talk to me about him, it’s like he was there.

The cut out was a hit with the ladies
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Image:

@ashjaderog / CATERS NEWS)

Ben’s cutout with his friends
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Image:

@ashjaderog / CATERS NEWS)

“When I was walking down to meet his best friend, I didn’t tell him what I’d done, but when he saw it, he couldn’t believe it. He had a photo with it straight away.”

Ashleigh found an online company who sent the cutout the next day after she ordered it, and now keeps it in her home, speaking to it as if Ben’s still there.

She said: “I talk to him in the house like he’s with me. It’s just my way of coping.

“I still text him as well and speak to him like he’s here.

“I sent a video to my parents when it first arrived telling them I had a visitor. My dad was quite emotional about it and my mum said it was amazing.

“I just can’t believe how well people took it.

“I’ve had a few comments on my TikTok video saying it was disrespectful, but I did it for him to experience.”

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