Two People Died In The Accident That Occurred In September 2016
A widower, who was seriously injured in a multi-car crash that killed his wife, has spoken of his pain and relief after the man who was charged with causing the crash was sentenced after he had earlier pleaded guilty.
50-year-old Karen Gell, from Manchester, died when she was involved in the multi-car smash on the A69 Melkridge, Northumberland, on 3 September 2016. The defendant’s partner, Ann Marie Dewhurst, from Preston, also lost her life in the crash. Two others were hospitalised and six injured.
On Friday, Melvyn Griffiths, 75 previously of Orchard Walk, Watlington, in Oxford, was given a 28 week suspended sentence and a five year driving ban. Griffiths had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving.
Following the accident, Karen’s widower, John Gell, instructed specialist road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office to support him. John, 49, suffered serious injuries in the accident that have left him unable to continue his trade as a builder.
John suffered a fractured arm, facial fractures, and internal bleeding from seatbelt injuries that required surgery resulting in part of his stomach being removed.
On the day of the accident, John and Karen, a nurse, were travelling to the North-East to see Karen’s adult children Gemma and Christopher.
John, who owned his own business prior to the accident, said: “While this sentencing brings the relief at the conclusion of the criminal trial, nothing can or will ever change what has happened.
“The pain and hurt of losing Karen is something I still battle with. She was the kindest, most loving person I have ever met, and I, along with Gemma and Christopher miss her dearly.
“I hope that with the criminal case over, I can now begin to move forward and focus on my recovery and rehabilitation.”
Laura Gabbey-Cristofini, Serious Injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing John, said:
Expert Opinion“We welcome this sentencing however nothing changes that fact that losing Karen has been devastating for the family. Over a year on, John is still coming to terms with the accident and the life-changing injuries he suffered.
“We hope that with the conclusion of the criminal trial, we can help the family to begin to move forward and continue to work with and support John as he works hard on his rehabilitation and recovery.” Laura Gabbey-Cristofini - Associate Solicitor
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