Lawyer representing victims’ family highlights that changes to the Highway Code reinforces the importance that motorist must remain extra vigilant for pedestrians.
Louise Poole, the wife of a New Forest businessman who died in a road traffic collision, has reaffirmed her call for drivers to take greater care on the roads, after the man that caused her husband’s death was today (Friday 4th February) sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence at Southampton Crown Court.
Simon Poole, a father of three and Chief Operating Officer at Isle of Wight internet service provider WightFibre, was killed in 2019 when he was hit by a BMW X5, driven by Deividas Balkauskas (41).
Simon Poole was using a pedestrian crossing at the Red Funnel ferry terminal in Southampton at the time of the accident.
Today’s sentencing follows Mr Balkauskas from Eling Road, Totton, pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving in November 2021. Alongside a two-year suspended sentence, he also received a 12-month ban from driving, 250 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000.
Commenting on the sentencing, Louise Poole said: “The last two years have been devastating for our family and while today’s decision goes someway to help us move on with our lives, learning to live without Simon remains a daily struggle. I’m certain that, had Mr Balkauskas been driving at a safe speed, Simon would have survived, and I would still have my husband and our children their father.
“To any driver seeing this, I would say ‘please, please slow down on the roads’. Simon was my best friend, we met 28 years’ ago and built a family together, and the actions of one man have taken him away from me and my family. It doesn’t bring Simon back, but at least Mr Balkauskas will face some consequences for his actions.”
Supporting Louise and the Poole family at the hearing was Matthew Claxson, personal injury partner at law firm Moore Barlow.
He added: “This is yet another tragic example of the pain wrought by speeding and careless driving. Mr Balkauskas did not set out to kill that day, but his wanton disregard for safety is the reason Simon is no longer with us.
“The government’s recent changes to the Highway Code reinforces the importance that motorist must remain extra vigilant for pedestrians at junctions and crossings at all times. I hope that Mr Balkauskas’ sentence will serve to remind people how important it is to take care on the roads.”