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Family Speak Out After Driver Pleads Guilty To Causing Death Of Mother-Of-Two

Susan Shaw Was Knocked Down And Killed On Boxing Day 2017

02.02.2018

James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

The family of a mother-of-two, who died on Boxing Day last year when she was knocked down outside her home, have spoken of their pain and relief after the driver of the car that hit her pleaded guilty today.

Susan Shaw, 47 from Rishton, Lancashire, was walking on High Street in Rishton shortly before 6pm on Boxing Day when she was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa. The car, driven by Damien Raeburn, had been pursued by police prior to the incident.

The accident caused her catastrophic injuries and Susan died at the scene. 

The charity fundraiser was a carer for her two adult children, Leanne, 27, and Adam, 25. Leanne suffers from severe epilepsy, absences and requires one to one care. Adam also suffers from severe epilepsy, but he also is unable to speak and needs help eating and washing. 

Following Susan’s death, her family instructed specialist road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to support them through the criminal trial and to help them gain security for Leanne and Adam in the future.

Today, at Burnley Crown Court, Raeburn, 31 from Accrington, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. He will be sentenced on 21st February.

Annette Shaw, Susan’s mother, said after the plea hearing: “While there is some relief at the decision taken by the defendant to take responsibility for his actions today and plead guilty, nothing can undo what has happened or help mend the huge impact on mine and the rest of the family’s lives and take away our pain. 

“The whole family remains traumatised by Susan’s death. As a family, we believe we have been given a life sentence and that my daughter has been taken away too early and her two beautiful, vulnerable children are now left without a mother and a carer.

“Susan was a much loved and cherished family member, and a well-loved member of the community. She was always generous with her time, with both friends and strangers alike. It is heartbreaking what has happened to her. She did not deserve it.”

Matthew Garson, the road accident legal expert at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: 

Expert Opinion
“The consequences of dangerous driving on the road were fatally highlighted on Boxing Day last year.

“Nothing is more important than your own safety and the safety of others on the roads. It is vital that people remember this when while driving, particularly over the festive period, as we see first-hand on a daily basis the impact dangerous driving has on people’s lives.

“Due to the actions of the defendant, two vulnerable adults are left without their mother and carer. We will continue to work with the family to ensure that Leanne and Adam receive the support they need going forward.”
Matthew Garson, Senior Associate Solicitor

Since Susan’s death, local charity group ‘Switch On Rishton Group’, of which Susan was an active member, have been working on planting a tree in Susan’s memory and fundraising for the family.

A fundraising disco has been organised in memory of Susan. It will take place at Rishton Conservative Club on February 2, from 7.30pm. Entry costs £5 and the DJ is Steve Elliot and proceeds will go to Susan’s family.

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