Family Of Bike Crash Victim Want More Awareness On Roads

Widow Says Sentence For Driver Is ‘Extremely Disappointing’ after Husband Died At Scene Of Accident


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The distraught family of an avid motorcyclist who died when he was hit by an elderly driver in Sedbergh, Cumbria, say that drivers need to take more care on the roads to prevent similar accidents in future as the driver escaped severe punishment from the courts.

Family man Garry Sharp, from Flookburgh, died at the scene when he was hit by a car being driven by an elderly driver on the wrong side of the road on the A684 at Garsdale, Sedbergh, while out riding his motorbike in October last year.

Garry, who was just 48-years-old, leaves behind wife Angela and three sons, Luke, Josh and Lewi. The family has instructed specialist injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help support them as they seek to get their lives back on track and together. Angela has also expressed her massive disappointment with the sentence which she believes is too lenient and believes a bigger punishment would force other drivers to take more care on the roads to prevent future accidents.

The driver of the car that hit Garry pleaded guilty to careless driving at Kendal Magistrates court last week and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and was disqualified from driving for 2 years and has to take a compulsory retest when he will be in his 80s.

Angela said: “Garry’s death last year left us distraught and we are still struggling to understand why he has been taken away from us. He was a real family man and an advanced motorcycle rider and everyone who knows him knew how safety always came first for him. He loved his family, his dogs and his days out on his bike and spent a lot of time teaching Lewi all about bikes.

“I’m very angry and still hurting so much that while I have lost my husband and my sons have lost their father, the driver only has to serve community service in a charity shop and in our opinion the sentence is just not equal to the value of the life we have lost.

“The sentence doesn’t seem to send out a message which will make others think twice about their actions and we feel that drivers need to take more responsibility for their actions on the roads.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the Police for how they have helped and supported us throughout this difficult time. It was very important for Lewi to face the person that took away not only his father but his best friend in Garry who he spent a lot of time with. We have accepted that Lewi has wanted the information from the beginning about Garry to deal with this the best he can and he needed to be in court to let the driver know who he was. He has had to grow up fast and his life has been devastated.”

“I was also keen for the court to hear our victim impact statements because they show the real human impact of the incident. Garry’s death is something that has changed our lives forever and we will never forget him. I only hope that our story brings it home to other drivers the importance of taking more care on the roads. I would hate for anyone else to go through what we have.”

Helen Thomson, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell supporting the family, said:

Expert Opinion
The loss of Garry to the family is immense. Not only has it shocked them emotionally and left them devastated, but he was also the main breadwinner working as a heavy goods vehicle driver. The family needs support over the coming months as they try to come to terms with their loss.

“Time and time again we see the devastation caused to families following acts of careless driving. There are many campaigns around promoting road safety including the Think Bike posters, and it is crucial that drivers seek to take responsibility for their actions so that we can make a real difference in preventing future accidents.”
Helen Thomson, Solicitor

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident whilst cycling, our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Cycling Accident Compensation page for more information.