Hit and run victim’s family speaks out as driver convicted of death by dangerous driving08 January 2018
Lewis Knapp died after being struck by a car
The family of Lewis Knapp has spoken today (8 January 2018) at Newcastle Crown Court of their loss following the conviction of the driver responsible for his death.
Lewis Knapp, aged just 20, worked at Washington Metalworks and lived with his mother, Michelle Norton, and his partner Caitlyn Hardy in Boldon Colliery, South Shields.
"This family has been through hell and we will continue to fight to ensure that they are provided with some financial stability now that Lewis is gone."
On Good Friday (14 April 2017) he was struck by a car on Anderson Street while out socialising with friends. He died in the early hours of 15 April from his injuries.The driver of the vehicle involved in the collision, 21 year old Connor Emms, has been sentenced to four and half years in prison after having previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing in November 2017. He has also been disqualified from driving for three years.
He also admitted to driving a motor vehicle with an illegal proportion of a specified controlled drug; failing to stop after a road traffic collision; driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence and using a motor vehicle on a road without third party insurance.
Michelle Norton, his mother, said: “No length of jail sentence can ever bring back our beloved Lewis and we will never get over this tragic loss which has left a hole in so many lives. We are relieved that the person who took my son’s life has been put behind bars and can cause no further harm on the roads.
“We now want draw a line under all this and to be left to remember Lewis in peace. We will celebrate his life and think of him as he was: a bright, warm and fun-loving person, and a wonderful son and partner.”
The family is pursuing a civil case on Lewis’ behalf supported by road traffic collision specialists Thompsons Solicitors. The claim will be brought against the Motor Insurers Bureau as the driver had no insurance.
David Robinson, serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors and chairman of road collision victim support charity RoadPeace North East said: “Today, the criminal system has convicted a driver who thoughtlessly took the life of a young man in a selfish and reckless act. This family has been through hell and we will continue to fight to ensure that they are provided with some financial stability now that Lewis is gone.
“No individual or family should have to experience the devastation of losing a loved one on the roads. We would urge the government to do more to protect vulnerable road users and to introduce harsher penalties for road-related offences.”
Sgt Jason Ryder, of a Motor Patrols officer at Northumbria Police, said: “We have to deal with cases like this far too often and my thoughts are very much with Lewis’ family at the conclusion of this case.
“The actions of Connor Emms that day were reckless and irresponsible and I think it is fitting that the judge has handed down a custodial sentence at court today.
“No length of sentence will bring Lewis back to his family but hopefully they can take some comfort in the fact justice has been served to the person responsible for his death.
“We will continue to work hard to make our roads a safer place. Hopefully drivers will take note of cases like this and the devastating consequences of dangerous driving.”
“No length of jail sentence can ever bring back our beloved Lewis and we will never get over this tragic loss which has left a hole in so many lives.”
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