The family of motorcyclist, who died in a collision in Cricket St Thomas last year, have spoken of their ‘devastating loss’ after the sentencing of a 77-year-old man for death by careless driving.
Emergency services were called to the Somerset village at about 3.40pm on Saturday 24 September following a two-vehicle collision.
Roger Burt was at the wheel of a Fiat Panda and pulled out of the B3167 onto the A30 and directly into the path of Nigel Gillard, who was riding a Triumph Sprint motorcycle.
Witnesses told police Mr Gillard, 74, attempted to change his motorbike’s direction but collided with the car and sustained fatal injuries.
During police interview, Burt said he was ‘horrified’ by what had happened. He tested negative for alcohol and drugs during tests and there were no concerns raised around his health.
Burt, of The Maltings in Chard, pleaded guilty at Yeovil Magistrates Court today (Tuesday 31 January).
He was handed a 140-hour unpaid work requirement as part of a community order. He also was banned from driving for 12 months and upon the conclusion of his disqualification will need to re-pass his driving test before being allowed to get behind the wheel again.
Magistrates accepted Burt’s genuine remorse for what had happened.
In a statement, Mr Gillard’s family paid tribute to a ‘loving’ family man.
They said: “No sentence that the court could impose could begin to reflect our devastating loss.
“Dad was a loving father, grandfather, brother and friend and did nothing on that afternoon that contributed to his death.
“Our lives have been changed forever and we miss Dad so very much every day.
“We would like to thank Avon and Somerset Police for the support we have received during this traumatic time.”
Officer in the case Dai Nicholas said: “It is clear how much Nigel Gillard’s family loved him and how this tragedy has caused them so much pain.
“We are grateful for their support during this investigation and our sympathies and thoughts remain with them.”