Family facing ‘life sentence of pain’ campaign to get speed cameras in road grandad killed in
By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter
A family facing a “life sentence of pain” are fighting to add a speed camera to a dangerous road after their grandfather was killed in a crash in 2019.
Derek Harmer, 74, died on August 6, 2019, after the Skoda he was driving collided with a BMW in North Cray Road in Sidcup.
A report from solicitors Irwin Mitchell said Mr Harmer died of a heart attack two days after the collision while awaiting surgery for significant chest injuries.
The BMW driver pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Woolwich Crown Court on March 8 and was jailed for three years and eight months, as well as having his licence suspended for five-and-a-half years.
Data from the BMW showed that the driver had repeatedly been driving at speeds between 81 and 90mph in North Cray Road in the weeks leading up to the crash.
Mr Harmer’s wife, Janet, 75, said after the hearing that the family’s lives had been changed forever. She said that despite finding answers to how the incident happened, nothing will replace their feeling of loss.
She said: “Derek’s death was needless and a waste of a life and has left us facing a life sentence of pain.
“All we can hope for now is that other road users realise how innocent families can be torn apart and take care on the roads at all times.
“We wouldn’t want others to endure what we have and so we want to see an average speed camera installed along that stretch of road.”
Mr Harmer’s wife and family are now working alongside Irwin Mitchell lawyers to request a speed camera be added to the stretch of road where the incident occurred – the junction of St James Way and North Cray Road.
Jessica Bowles, specialist road accident lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said after the hearing that Mr Harmer’s family had been traumatised and were still trying to come to terms with the events over three years later.
Mr Harmer is survived by his children Jo, Stuart, Alan and Paul, along with his six grandchildren.
Pictured top: Derek Harmer died in 2019 after being fatally injured in a car crash in North Cray Road in Sidcup (Picture: Irwin Mitchell LLP)
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