Family Talk Of Devastating Impact Of Accident
The son of a ‘loving family man’ killed when he was hit head on by a speeding drunk, and drugged driver, has spoken of the family’s devastation after an inquest into his death.
And, as the Coroner today recorded a verdict of accidental death with a narrative referencing drink, drugs and speeding as major factors causing the incident in which both drivers died, the family’s lawyer said he hoped it would serve as a warning to all drivers of how drink and drugs could change lives ‘in a split second’.
Mr Kenneth Marsh, 64, was killed instantly in the smash that happened in March earlier this year as he returned home from a prayer meeting. His wife Angelita, 63, who was also in the car suffered severe orthopaedic and psychological damage when the “closing speed” of the cars crashing resulted in a devastating 130mph collision.
Their lawyer Keith Barrett from law firm Irwin Mitchell said he hoped the death of Mr Marsh would, at the very least, act as a warning to other motorists of the dangers of drink and drug driving.
He described how the ‘irresponsible’ actions of James Dawkins, 20, had had a devastating impact on all that had known Mr Marsh, a retired nurse and part time library supervisor from Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
“Nothing will ever replace what this family have lost through such tragic and wholly avoidable circumstances. To suffer the death of a loved one is always extremely distressing but to know that the death could and should have been avoided is simply heartbreaking” he said.
“Though the verdict handed down here today will provide the family with some of the answers they had regarding the circumstances that led to Mr Marsh’s death, they hope too that this tragic case can in some way serve as a warning to other motorists that drink, and drugs can change lives in a split second.
“We are now working with the family and local authorities to ensure that they receive access to all of the facts surrounding what happened that night.”
Mr Marsh’s eldest son Frank, 32, said: “Nothing can ever get back what we as a family have lost. He died because of the irresponsible actions of another who chose to get behind the wheel of a car despite knowing that he had been taking drugs and drinking as well as not holding a full driving licence.
“My dad was a kind, loving, family man and to know that his death, and my mum’s injuries, could have been prevented is something we will never come to terms with.”