Ravenshead driver jailed for killing two in horror crash

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A FORMER Ravenshead man who admitted causing a crash which killed his partner and a dad-of three has been jailed for 21 months.

Craig Simpson (42) was travelling at 80mph along the A6097 near Epperstone, at around 8pm on 26th August 2011 when he lost control of his Saab convertible. The speed limit on the road is 50mph.

His car collided with a Nissan Qashqai, which contained a family of five travelling home to Cawston, Rugby, from a holiday at Center Parcs.

Simpson’s partner of 10 years, Louise Hunt (36) of Woodside Gardens, Ravenshead, was in the front passenger seat of the Saab and died at the scene.

The father of the family, Mark Gallagher (43) who was driving the Nissan was also killed.

His wife, Sue Gallagher, was seriously injured and spent almost three months in hospital. Their three children suffered minor injuries, which required treatment at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

The Hunt family said: “Louise was a loving and caring daughter whose family were very important to her. She always had a smile on her face and a hand to lend. She is very sadly missed and always in our thoughts.

“We would like to say a huge thanks to the emergency services and the people on the scene of the accident who so bravely rescued Louise from the burning car. In the midst of this terrible tragedy their inspirational courage has shone through, providing a measure of comfort and consolation to everyone who knew Louise, and comfort to the family.”

The Gallagher family solicitor, Rebecca Hearsey, said: “Mark’s entire family has been left completely devastated by his tragic and untimely death. They remain extremely saddened that a combination of speed and careless driving on the part of the defendant were responsible for this completely avoidable collision which took Mark’s life.

“Although the defendant has received a custodial sentence today, Mark’s family feel that they have been handed what is, in effect, a life sentence as they try to come to terms with the devastating loss of a much loved husband and father.”

Simpson, formerly of Ravenshead but now of Hume Drive, Glasgow claimed he had no recollection of the incident due to injuries he sustained in the crash.

He admitted two charges of causing death by careless driving at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday 29 November 2012.

He was sentenced to 21 months and disqualified from driving for four years.

Judge Michael Stokes QC said: “Numerous though these cases are, people don’t seem to listen that driving like this can have devastating consequences. There was no need for this to happen at all, if people would not drive in this stupid way on our roads.”

Police officers worked hard to analyse CCTV from a nearby garage to calculate the speed of the Saab just before the crash. A police car was driven along the road at different speeds and then the CCTV was compared to that of the Saab on the evening of the crash.

DC Katie Stokes said: “This crash was an absolute tragedy and shows the horrific results speeding can have. Simpson has lost his partner, ruined his own life and that of families of the two people who died.”

FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE WEDNESDAY’S CHAD