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Devastated Family Of Newcastle Grandmother With “Heart Of Solid Gold” Killed By Dangerous Driver Issue Road Safety Warning

Charity Worker Returning From Shops Hit By Car On Pavement


Andrew Hewitt, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

The family of a grandmother killed in crash near her Newcastle home have revealed how the driver responsible for her death has left them facing a “life sentence“ of pain.

Charity worker Sylvia Mallaby died instantly when she was hit by a BMW which had mounted the pavement just doors from her home in Bentinck Road in the city’s West End.

The 60-year-old had been returning from her weekly shopping trip ahead of cooking Sunday dinner for her family.

The car also hit a telegraph pole, ploughed through a garden wall and crashed into a house.

Two weeks after the crash Sylvia became a great-grandma for the first time.

Following the mother-of-two’s death her family instructed expert road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the incident and help them access the specialist support they need to try and overcome their ordeal.

Sylvia’s family have now joined their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in warning of the consequences of dangerous driving and how they will continue to campaign for road safety improvements to be made near her home.

It comes after the BMW driver was today jailed for six years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Expert Opinion
“Sylvia was a much-loved wife, mum, nanna who was not only adored by her family but also by her many neighbours, friends and colleagues.

“Her unnecessary death has caused a great deal of upset in the community. Understandably Sylvia’s family have been left heartbroken and are still coming trying to come to terms with what happened.

“Sylvia’s death vividly highlights the devastation that can be caused by selfish drivers who pose a real danger to other road users by thinking it is acceptable to break the law.

“While nothing will make up for Sylvia’s death we hope today’s sentence 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 will continue to support Sylvia’s family through this extremely distressing time.”
Maria Harvey, Paralegal

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling road accident cases 

Sylvia was married to William, a retired night shift support worker for 35 years. The couple had two daughters, Emma Mallaby and Lindsey Crouchly, 32 and 36, as well as four grandchildren.

Sylvia had worked for the charity Changing Lives for more than 20 years helping some of the area’s most under-privileged people.

The crash happened at around 3pm on Saturday, 17 December, 2017.

Emma and Lindsey said in a joint statement on behalf of the family: “People say ‘wrong place, wrong time’, but our mam was exactly where she was meant to be that day – near her home of 32 years; the home she raised her family in.

“From that moment life as we know it changed forever. The pain it has caused has devastated our family.

“My father who was married to my mam for 35 happy years has now been left alone and has to face the scene where she was killed every single day.

“We no longer have our loving, caring mam, the one who we have leaned on our entire lives. We are both still young and we know that our mam will miss out on so much of our future now.

“Her whole life revolved around her family and through our intense pain we have had to find a way to continue on without her, support our dad and try our best to continue to make her proud. Losing her this way has truly broken our hearts and we will never be the same again.

“All her grandchildren have been left shocked, heart-broken and most importantly without their deeply loved nanna. How do you explain to a child that their nanna went to the shops and never returned home?

“Our mam was the backbone of our family. She raised us all to be strong, kind and caring people. She always saw the best in people and helped others less fortunate than herself. She brought out the best in people and had a heart a solid gold.

“The feelings we have of loss and sorrow are so strong. We have been robbed of all the love she had to share. Her death was needless, unfair and a waste of life.

“The last 15 months have been a living nightmare.  No amount of sentence will ever bring our mam back and end the life sentence our family received that day.

“The driver had a choice not to drive dangerously. My mam had no choice. After he has served his sentence he will return to his family and still has a future. Our mam doesn’t.

“All we can hope for now is that drivers realise the pain they can cause innocent families and take care on the roads at all times. We truly hope that no other family has to endure this sorrow and pain. “

Sylvia’s daughters and ward councillors have been campaigning to introduce traffic calming measures near the family home following her death. 

It is hoped plans to reduce the speed limit to 20mph and install a speed display road sign in the road will be introduced in the coming weeks.

The driver of the BMW, Iulian Vasile, aged 28 of Dilston Road, Arthur’s Hill, had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He also received an eight-year driving ban.