Family to pursue fight for justice following Coroner's verdict

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Family to pursue fight for justice following Coroner's verdict

31st October 2013

The family of a Shaw pensioner who was killed when she and her husband were both knocked over on a zebra crossing more than 18 months ago, can now finally pursue their fight for justice following the conclusion of an inquest today (Thursday).

Lynn Steele, 63, died from the injuries she sustained when she and her husband Raymond were hit by a car whilst using the crossing on Milnrow Road, Shaw, on the afternoon of 16 January 2012. Although Mr Steele survived, he lost the sight in one eye and sustained a brain injury in the incident which claimed the life of his wife. Following a two-day inquest in Rochdale, the Greater Manchester North Coroner Mr Simon Nelson today recorded a verdict of death by road traffic collision into Mrs Steele’s death.

After the inquest, the couple’s daughter, Sarah, said: “This incident has ruined my family’s lives. The pain of losing my mum and seeing my dad so shattered is incredible, and is something nobody should have to go through."

Now the family’s lawyer, Richard Crabtree of Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon, says their civil fight for justice can finally move forward. “Mrs Steele was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and the sudden loss of her was completely devastating to her family,” said Mr Crabtree. “Although the family is still upset that nobody was ever held to account for the incident that took Lynn from them, we expected this verdict from today’s inquest and it now enables us to vigorously pursue our claim,” he said.

Mr Crabtree explained that as well as losing his wife of more than 40 years, the incident had left Mr Steele, 66,  completely blind in one eye and suffering from a brain injury which has affected his daily life. Not only this but their daughter Sarah, who suffers from glaucoma and is registered blind, has also lost the support network her parents have provided - and she has relied upon - for many years.

“The driver in this case was never charged by police and is no longer alive, however we can still hold the driver’s insurer to account for the continued suffering and hardship this family now endures,” said Mr Crabtree, a specialist in serious and fatal injury cases. “We have managed to secure an interim payment to help pay for a carer for Raymondand we will be seeking further compensation to cover the cost of vital support services allowing him to regain his lost independence.

“This was a very traditional couple, in which Mrs Steele would maintain the house and Raymond would work,” added Mr Crabtree. “However since the loss of his wife, his ability to adapt and look after himself has been greatly affected by his loss of sight in one eye and also the brain injury he sustained in the collision.

“As a result of his injuries, Raymond has been forced to stop driving. He and Mrs Steele were the main support mechanism for their daughter Sarah and her husband Shaun, who are both visually impaired,” said Mr Crabtree. “The couple also played a large part in their daughter’s family life, helping with providing family trips and holidays for their granddaughters Jessica and Georgia. Because of this incident, Sarah has lost both her mother – which is tragic in itself – but also the help and support she had relied on.”

“Mr Steele, his daughter and their family are still suffering the aftermath of losing their loved one,” said Mr Crabtree. “We are hopeful that following the conclusion of the inquest, we can move forward with the fight to hold to account those they hold responsible, and secure the help they need right now and also in the future.”