Jail for speeding driver who caused death crash

By Dan Santy Friday 18 January 2013 Updated: 05/02 08:18

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Nottinghamshire woman Louise Hunt, Craig Simpson's partner, was also killed in the horror smash in August 2011. (s)

A MAN whose careless driving ended in a horror smash which killed his partner and a father-of-three from Cawston has been jailed for 21 months.

Craig Simpson drove his Saab convertible at 80mph on a 50mph road when he lost control and hit the car being driven by Mark Gallagher, who was taking his wife and three children back home from a Bank Holiday trip to Center Parcs.

The crash, which happened on August 26 2011 on the A6097 near Epperstone, Nottinghamshire, killed 43-year-old Mr Gallagher.

His wife, Sue Gallagher, was severely injured and spent almost three months in hospital. Their three children, a girl and two boys, suffered minor injuries and were treated at Nottingham's Queens Medical Centre.

Louise Hunt, Simpson's partner, was sitting in the front seat of the Saab and was also killed. She was 36 and lived in Woodside Gardens, Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire.

The Gallagher family's solicitor, Rebcca Hearsey, said: "Mark’s entire family has been left completely devastated by his tragic and untimely death.

"They remain extremely saddened that a combination of speed and careless driving on the part of the defendant were responsible for this completely avoidable collision which took Mark’s life.

"Although the defendant has received a custodial sentence, Mark’s family feel they have been handed what is, in effect, a life sentence as they try to come to terms with the devastating loss of a much loved husband and father."

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Simpson, 42, of Hume Drive in Uddington, Glasgow, was speeding along the Epperstone bypass north east of Nottingham when he lost control.

He has no recollection of the crash because of the injuries he sustained, but he admitted to two charges of causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing in November.

Simpson received 21 months in jail and a four year driving ban.

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: "Numerous though these cases are, people don’t seem to listen that driving like this can have devastating consequences.

"There was no need for this to happen at all, if people would not drive in this stupid way on our roads."

DC Katie Stokes of Nottinghamshire Police said: "This crash was an absolute tragedy and shows the horrific results speeding can have. Simpson has lost his partner, ruined his own life and that of the families of the two people who died."

Mr Gallagher was a keen badminton player and coached juniors across Warwickshire including youngsters at Rugby Youth Badminton.

He had also played for clubs in Rugby and the Windy Arbour club which meets at Princethorpe College.

Mrs Gallagher was due to take up a new position as head teacher of Ullesthorpe Primary School near Lutterworth just days before the crash.

She was previously head teacher at Clapham Terrace Primary School in Leamington for five years.

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