Children Reveal Heart-Break After Instructing Irwin Mitchell To Investigate Surrey Crash
The family of a pedestrian fatally injured the day after becoming a grandmother by a driver with drink and drugs in their system, have spoken for the first time about their heart-breaking loss.
Elizabeth Stokes suffered serious injuries when she was hit by a Citroen Xsara Picasso in Shepperton, Surrey. A day earlier her first grandchild Bella had been born.
Elizabeth was airlifted to hospital but was pronounced dead the following day after her family made the agonising decision to turn off her life support machine on the advice of doctors.
Following the death her family instructed specialist road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the collision.
Elizabeth’s family has now joined its legal team at Irwin Mitchell in warning of the consequences of motorists getting behind the wheel with drink and drugs in their system. It comes after the driver responsible for the crash was today jailed for four years and eight months.
Expert Opinion“What should have been such a joyous time for Elizabeth and her family turned to absolute heartbreak in the most tragic of circumstances because of the selfish and reckless actions of the driver involved.
“Understandably, Elizabeth’s family are still struggling to come to terms with her death and how the hopes and dreams they had as a family have been snatched away.
“Elizabeth’s death is a stark reminder of the dangers motorists pose, not only to themselves but other innocent road users, by getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.” Jodee Mayer - Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling road accident cases
Elizabeth has two children Kelly, 37 and James, age 33.
On 10 January, 2018, Kelly had given birth to Bella and Elizabeth had visited them in hospital.
The following day Elizabeth had been texting her daughter about visiting Kelly, her partner Paul and Bella at their home that evening after they were discharged from hospital.
The last text Kelly had received was shortly before 4.25pm when her mum said she was walking to Longacres garden centre. Minutes later the Citroen hit Elizabeth and a parked car in Charlton Road.
The first Kelly knew of the crash was when police called at her home in Shepperton at around 8pm.
As Kelly rushed to hospital her brother flew back from his home in the USA to be at his mum’s bedside.
“When the policemen told me that Mum had been in a collision, we didn’t really know what to think,” Kelly said. “They then said it was touch and go as to whether Mum would live and at this point something just took over and I knew we had to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
“My uncle was stuck in the traffic jam that had been caused by my Mum’s accident and when he told us that someone had been hit, we put two and two together.
“We were told by the doctors that my Mum wasn’t going to recover from her injuries; we were told that she had most likely been killed on impact and wouldn’t have felt anything; this was of some comfort to us to know that she didn’t suffer.
“Our family will forever be grateful to the air ambulance staff that provided Mum with treatment at the road side and the hospital staff. They all enabled us to say goodbye to her at the hospital.”
Elizabeth was a former childminder and had worked as an ‘auntie’ for British Airways escorting children flying by themselves.
She was due to retire from her job with BA so she could look after Bella whilst Kelly returned to work as a swimming teacher and personal trainer.
Kelly added: “Since before I got pregnant, Mum always said that it was her dream to retire and look after her grandchild full time and she was so excited for Bella to be born.
“I saw my Mum nearly every day and, had the accident not occurred, she would have been with us every day looking after Bella. Whilst Bella has been a distraction from the pain and grief I am suffering from, she is a reminder of everything that my Mum has missed out on.
“Though Mum was able to meet Bella, we don’t have any photos of them together. I have made Bella a memory box of all of the things that Mum bought for her and so Bella will never forget her.”
James added: “Mum was such a cautious person; she walked on the inside of the pavement and taught us to do the same; she would never have even one drink and then drive; and she always pulled over to take a telephone call.
“It seems so cruel that someone who took such care of herself and others has been taken away from us in this way.
“As well as the emergency services we would like to thank to those who came to my Mum’s help. It is a comfort to know she was not alone.
“The driver has ripped our family apart. All we can hope for now is that Mum’s death is not in vain and deters others from driving after drinking.”
The driver Lynsey Jayne Williams, 34, of Shepperton, had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and possession of cannabis. A court previously heard that when she was tested by police, Williams was more than double the alcohol limit and also had more than twice the legal limit of a by-product of cocaine in her system.
Charges of driving when above the alcohol limit and driving with drugs were left to lie on file.