School Caretaker Sustained Fatal Injuries In Accident
The devastated partner of a Cambridge cyclist who died following a collision with a car has spoken out about her “long and difficult journey” after the driver of the vehicle was sentenced.
Stewart Milne, who was a caretaker at Trumpington Meadows Primary School, was cycling home from work when he was involved in the collision on Trumpington High Street in December 2017. The father-of-three sustained fatal injuries. He was 44.
Following Stewart’s death, his partner Carrie-Anne Hardingham instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what happened and help provide the family with the specialist support they require to overcome their ordeal.
At a hearing earlier this year, the driver of the car, Miles Jordan Polite, aged 28 and also from Cambridge, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Following a police investigation into the accident, at a hearing today, Polite was jailed for three years and handed a four-and-a-half year driving ban.
Expert Opinion“The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Carrie-Anne and her family. They remain devastated after losing Stewart so suddenly and are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
Through our work, we come across many families whose lives are turned upside down following road accidents which are often avoidable.
While nothing will turn back the clock and change what happened, Carrie and her family welcome today’s sentencing. We also hope that the sentence acts as a warning to the devastation families can be left to face and encourages drivers to take care on the roads at all times.”
Neil Whiteley - Partner & Director of Legal Services - Personal Injury
At the time of his death, Stewart and Carrie had been together for 14 years. The couple had three children – Josh, 17, Kayleigh, 13, and Karl, nine.
Stewart worked part-time as a caretaker and key holder at Trumpington Meadows, leaving him time to help Carrie bring up their children together.
He was a keen cyclist and cycled to work every day, which was around half a mile from where he lived with Carrie and their children. The collision occurred on 12 December 2017 when he was travelling home from his shift. He suffered traumatic injuries and went into cardiac arrest, before being stabilised and taken to hospital by ambulance. He died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital two days later without having regained consciousness.
Carrie said: “Thanks to the quick action of passers-by, Stewart received support before the paramedics arrived. I am incredibly grateful for what they did for him. I don’t think that I would have had those two final days with him in Addenbrooke’s without their actions and the response of the paramedics.”
A police investigation was launched, and Carrie joined with her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in calling for more to be done to reduce risks in the area where the collision occurred, which had become known as a notorious crash hotspot.
Following the sentencing hearing, Carrie said: “Stewart was a wonderful man and the greatest dad to our children. Losing him has been terribly difficult on us all and we are still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
“He had been cycling for more than 30 years, so it was a huge shock to be told he had been involved in an accident. It was devastating to then find out that collisions are sadly common in that area.
“I wish I could turn back the clock and stop Stewart going out cycling that day. He was my rock and we relied on each other for everything. My family have been a great support to me and the children, but nothing will ever be the same again.
“While I am grateful that the prosecution is over and the man responsible has been sentenced, it has been a very long and difficult journey and nothing will bring Stewart back.
“Despite the length of time this has taken, the police have been so supportive to me and gone above and beyond to help me through the turmoil. I want to thank the hospital staff at Addenbrooke’s Intensive Care Unit, Sam Sparkes my police family liaison officer at Cambridgeshire Police, and the volunteers at the Road Victims Trust who have all been a huge support to me and the children.
“I am so proud of the children and how they have coped through all this. Despite everything that they have been through they have been incredibly brave and strong, and have eventually been able to focus on their school work again although it has been very difficult for them. No sentence or punishment will bring Stewart back, but we can hope that others will learn from our tragedy and put safety first when out on the roads, so no other family has to suffer the unbearable pain we have.”
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