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Daughter pays tribute to father killed in road accident
A lorry driver will be sentenced today (Monday) for killing a Stroud dad-of-four and seriously injuring his daughter after crashing into their motorcycle.
John Essex admitted causing the death of motorbike rider Martin Acock by careless driving on October 20, 2012.
Mr Acock’s daughter Samantha-Jane, 22, who was riding on the back of the motorcycle, was left seriously injured in the crash suffering a broken back, fractured pelvis and severe flashbacks.
Ms Acock was rushed to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol and placed in an induced coma and life support. Her 43-year-old father, from Pagenhill, died at the scene.
Essex had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge after his 7.5 tonne truck hit Mr Acock’s Kawaski ZXR1100 motorcycle on the A38 bypass at Quedgeley.
But the 48-year-old, of Eaton Crescent, Taunton, Somerset, returned to the same court on Monday January 6th and changed his plea.
He was released on unconditional bail and will appear back before the court on today (February 10) for sentencing.
In a statement, Ms Acock said: “I’m relieved that Mr Essex finally decided to plead guilty even though his initial not guilty plea put a great deal of unnecessary stress on us during a very difficult time.
“The careless actions of one driver has left me with life changing injuries but even worse than that it has robbed a family of their father. He was a kind and loving man and a wonderful father but words simply cannot describe our loss and we all miss him every single day.”
Samantha added: “I am glad the criminal case has finally come to an end and I can only hope it will make other drivers, especially those of large vehicles, take more care on the roads and be more aware of motorcycles.”
Mr Acock left behind his ex-partner of 20 years Lorraine and their four children, Leanne, Suzie, Sammy and Daniel.
Richard Crabtree, personal injury lawyer for Slater & Gordon, representing the family, said: “The family in this tragic case has been put through a terrible ordeal which has been made even more traumatic by the initial not guilty plea.
“The loss to the Acock family has been catastrophic with a much loved father suddenly taken away from them while they also had to cope with the significant injuries suffered by Samantha in the accident. They will now look to start rebuilding their lives.”
Mr Crabtree added: “This case highlights the potential dangers when motorist do not pay enough attention on the roads. Mr Acock was a careful rider but however cautious you are, those on motorcycles remain highly vulnerable especially to larger vehicles.”
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