The parents of 27 year old Jake Thompson have welcomed the decision by Avon and Somerset Police to re-open its inquiry into the death of their son after a 20 month campaign for justice.

Jake was struck by a speeding lorry while on a pedestrian crossing on the A37 in Bristol in May 2011. The teaching assistant, who had worked with children with special needs, died in hospital five days later from severe head injuries.

Independent eye witness testimony and a Tachograph on board the lorry confirmed the vehicle was travelling in excess of the 30mph limit immediately prior to the accident, yet both Avon and Somerset Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – to whom the police submitted their findings – decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the driver, Paul Vowels.

John and Janet Thompson, from Belmont, Durham City, are frustrated and disappointed that in the 20 months since Jake’s death, no action whatsoever has been taken against the driver.

Went on record that his death was not an accident

Jake’s mother Janet, speaking after the announcement that the police are to re-open its inquiry into Jake’s death, said:

“It’s been a difficult journey and we’re not there yet, but John and I promised one another that if it was the last thing we did for Jake, it would be to make sure it went on record that his death was not an accident and that the driving displayed by Mr Vowels fell below an acceptable standard.

“Without the support of David Robinson and his colleagues at Thompsons Solicitors we would never have got this far.

“We are pleased that Avon and Somerset Police are taking our complaint seriously and hope that this re-investigation sheds new light on the events leading to the death of our only son.”

David Robinson of Thompsons Solicitors, who has represented the family throughout their campaign said:

“The re-opening of a formal police inquiry is a positive step. This is an opportunity for them to set aside past mistakes, pursue every lead and conduct a thorough investigation.

“I will be making contact with the lead officer of the inquiry to set in place a timeline. For too long, the question as to why a young man was left dead while a speeding driver walked away with a clean licence has remained unanswered. For the sake of the Thompson family, we will be working to ensure this inquiry is dealt with without delay.”

An investigation into the conduct of four officers involved in the original investigation is also set to conclude on 25 January 2013, after which the Thompson family will be notified if any disciplinary action will be taken.