Lawyers Supporting Family As Speeding Driver Convicted Of Causing Collision
The family of a granddad killed by a speeding driver have revealed how his death has left them facing a “life sentence” of pain.
Derek Harmer was fatally injured when a BMW, which a court heard had been travelling between 81 and 90 mph, ploughed into his Skoda on the A223 North Cray Road, Sidcup.
The 74-year-old suffered significant chest injuries in the collision. Two days later, while awaiting surgery for his injuries, he died.
Derek's family ask road accident lawyers for help
Following the dad-of-five and granddad-of-six’s death his family of Sidcup, south east London, instructed expert road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them access the specialist support they require to try and come to terms with their ordeal.
Derek’s loved ones, including his wife of 33 years, Janet aged 75, have now joined their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in warning of the consequences of dangerous driving.
It comes after the BMW driver pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for 44 months.
Expert Opinion“Derek was a much-loved husband, dad and granddad who was not only adored by his family but also by his many friends.
“Understandably Derek’s family have been left traumatised by the events that unfolded and more than three years on are still trying to come to terms with what happened.
“Derek’s death vividly highlights the devastation that families can be left to face because of the dangerous behaviour of others on the roads.
“While nothing will make up for Derek’s death we hope this conviction will act as a deterrent and make drivers think about the consequences of their actions, so the number of people killed or badly injured on our roads reduces.
“We continue to support Derek’s family so they can access the specialist support they require to try and come to terms with his death the best they can.” Jessica Bowles
Derek Harmer's story
Derek, a retired IT director, was also a long-term supporter and member of Orpington Rugby Club.
He was turning right from the A223 into St James’ Way on 6 August, 2019, when the BMW suddenly appeared, crashing into his vehicle, Woolwich Crown Court was told.
Derek was taken to hospital but suffered a heart attack as a result of his injuries when awaiting surgery, the court heard.
Data provided to police from BMW’s headquarters in Germany found, that before the crash, the driver had been repeatedly travelling up and down the A223 at between 81 and 90mph, the hearing heard. They had also been doing the same a couple of weeks before the crash. The driver was sentenced to 44 months imprisonment and received a 66 month disqualification from driving.
Wife Janet pays tribute to wonderful husband as she issues road safety warning
Janet said after the hearing: “Derek was a wonderful husband, dad, and granddad. He was a real family man and loved spending time with us. He adored the grandchildren and would look after them before and after school and during the holidays.
“Bur Derek wasn’t just loved by his family. He was also very well thought of and popular at the rugby club and attended home matches for many years.
“Losing Derek in the way we did has been incredibly difficult. From that moment life as we know it changed forever.
“While we at least now have the answers we deserve as to what happened, nothing will replace the feeling of loss we continue to face.
“Derek’s death was needless and a waste of a life and has left us facing a life sentence of pain.
“All we can hope for now is that other road users realise how innocent families can be torn apart and take care on the roads at all times. We wouldn’t want others to endure what we have and so we want to see an average speed camera installed along that stretch of road.”
Derek also leaves behind children Jo, aged 49, Stuart, aged 44, 45-year-old Alan and Paul, aged 53, as well as his six loving grandchildren.
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