A GRIEVING family is calling on the CPS to prosecute a driver at the wheel of a lorry which killed their son – more than 18 months after his death.
John and Janet Thompson, from Belmont, Durham City, say their 27-year-old son Jake has died without justice after police failed to carry out even basic checks.
The teaching assistant died in May last year when he was hit by a lorry while using a pedestrian crossing in Bristol.
Jake’s parents are waiting to hear from the South West CPS after they uncovered evidence suggesting the lorry was travelling at 8mph over the speed limit as it crossed the traffic stop line.
It was established at an inquest in September 2012 that the lorry’s tachograph device recorded an average travelling speed of 38mph in a 30mph zone immediately prior to the incident.
Two witnesses gave evidence that the lights on the pedestrian crossing were changing to red at the time.
Jake’s parents say they spent four months not hearing from the police, before being told the driver will not be prosecuted. The family appealed to the CPS in October to reconsider its decision and have been told they will receive a response by December 14.
Mr Thompson last night said it was important for his family that everything possible was done to ensure the former Durham Johnston pupil received justice. He said: “We just want to feel that Jake’s life mattered, he is not just forgotten about.
“We have had independent investigators and solicitors look at this and point out what the police could have done for him.
“If the lorry driver had not driven at that speed Jake would be alive now. We want to know why he was not prosecuted.”
He added: “Our son Jake was a wonderful man who meant a great deal to numerous people, friends, colleagues and pupils, up and down the country. His friends and co-workers have raised memorials for him in Bristol as well as in the North East.”
The family is due to meet with the police this month to go over the investigation.
David Robinson of Thompsons Solicitors, representing the family, said: “There were a whole host of failings. In the first instance, the police showed no sense of urgency and seemed to have made up their minds not to prosecute.
“Secondly, they took three witness statements a few weeks after the accident but did not attempt to trace the driver of a passing bus or obtain the lorry driver’s mobile phone records.
“Thirdly, they failed to take statements from nurses who were passing and who attended to Jake at the scene, nor did they formally interview the driver himself until September 2011 – about four months after the incident.
“But the staggering thing is the lorry was travelling at 8mph over the speed limit as it crossed the stop line, and yet the driver has walked away with a clean licence.”