Couple Speak Of Loss Of First Child As Driver Responsible For Collision Is Jailed
A nursery worker has spoken of her heartbreak over having to deliver her baby which was killed in the womb during a high-speed crash.
Louise Abbott needed to give birth to her daughter Layla the day after the 28-year-old was hurt when a car overtaking a lorry ploughed into the vehicle she was a passenger in.
The driver responsible for the head-on collision, Leroy Margolis, has now been jailed for two years after a jury found him guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a week-long trial at Cambridge Crown Court. It is anticipated Margolis will serve half his sentence before he is released. He also received a four year driving ban.
Louise instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and to help support her as she seeks to overcome the trauma of what happened.
Tracey Storey, a Partner and specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, represented Louise.
Expert OpinionThis is a heart-breaking case which has left Louise and her partner having to come to terms with the loss of their baby, Layla.
“While the time since Layla’s death has understandably been extremely difficult for Louise and her husband Laurence, they have some comfort in the knowledge that the criminal process is now over and the driver who caused the crash has been found guilty.
“This tragic incident illustrates how important it is for road users to consider the safety of all of those around them. A momentary lapse in concentration can lead to accidents which often have terrible consequences for those involved and their families.”
Tracey Storey - Partner
The crash happened on the A1307 Linton bypass, south of Cambridge, on October 1, 2016, when Louise and a colleague at Saplings Day Nursery in Henham, were travelling to a wedding to look after children.
Leroy Margolis, 29, of Wandsworth, London, failed to leave enough time to pull in after overtaking a lorry. His Volvo hit the central reservation before it ploughed into the VW Polo Louise was in.
Louise immediately knew something serious was wrong. Suffering internal bleeding and in a lot of pain, her waters broke in the ambulance on her way to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
At hospital Louise and Laurence were told the devastating news that their baby had died from head injuries caused by seatbelt trauma.
Louise, of Finchingfield, near Braintree, Essex, said: “The rest of the day was a bit of a blur.
“I delivered Layla the next day at 8.40am naturally. I remember that her head and shoulders came out before a midwife could get to me.
“Because of my pelvic injuries a caesarean section could not be performed. They didn’t want to risk increased bleeding, I therefore had no option but to deliver Layla naturally.
“After delivery I did not want to see Layla at first. I was worried about her condition because I had been told that the head injury had killed her.
“I felt a real mix of emotions. It felt strange that I had survived the accident but Layla had not made it.
“I was told by a couple of doctors that had I not been pregnant, I would not have survived. Nothing can ever bring Layla back but it seems to me that maybe she was there to save me and that she was my guardian angel.
“A few months after the accident, I found out I was pregnant again with a second child and I have just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Avery. I found it very difficult to come to terms with the pregnancy at first. I was so scared that another crash might take another one of my children. Laurence and I spent many nights crying and hoping that the anxiety would ease, which thankfully it eventually did. We have always been clear that our newborn daughter would not be a replacement for Layla, who will always be a part of our family.
“I would like to thank all those who cared for me at the Rosie Maternity Unit and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. I cannot fault the treatment I received and I know that if Layla had died at another hospital, I would not have had the same level of support.
“I would also like my story to be a lesson to those who engage in dangerous driving. It is an example of the devastation it can cause people unlucky enough to be victims of it.
Laurence added: “We are devastated that Layla isn’t here to meet her baby sister Avery - as it should be. Avery will however grow up knowing all about her wonderful big sister. We couldn’t be happier with the safe arrival of our beautiful baby girl Avery.
“Avery is the most perfect little human, of course we do have the bias that only parents can have. After everything that we have been through this past year, the birth of Avery and now the guilty verdict means we can finally move forward and look towards the future.”