Littlehampton widow calls for elderly driving tests after husband killed by 93-year-old driver
The widow of a Littlehampton man who was killed on the A259 has called for elderly drivers to undergo annual driving tests.
Simon Jones, 48, died at the scene when he was hit by a car driven by a 93-year-old man on the A259 Hawthorn Road in Littlehampton on August 1, 2019.
The driver of the car, James Mackie, now 95, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving at Lewes Crown Court last month.
Following the sentencing, Simon’s wife Linda, 59, has called on the Government to introduce annual tests for elderly drivers.
Linda said: “Simon was such a charming, warm and wonderful person who was well liked by everyone who knew him.
“He was an amazing husband and step-dad and grandad. We still can’t believe he is no longer part of our family. There’s not a day goes by where we don’t think of Simon and all the plans we should be making and memories we should be creating as a family.
“What makes it even harder to come to terms with is that his death was so unnecessary.
“While we know nothing will bring Simon back our family feel that, if any good can come out of this, it would be through the introduction of annual checks for elderly drivers.
“We appreciate that for many elderly people driving helps them maintain their independence and reduces social isolation, which is incredibly important. However, what’s more important is that they should be able to prove they are not a danger to the public so other families don’t have to suffer the heartache we have because of Simon’s death.
“We don’t want to label all elderly drivers as a danger but it’s vital other road users as well as the drivers themselves are protected.
“If the driver in this case had been tested we believe that Simon would still be with us.”
Following Simon’s death, Linda sought specialist care and support from road accident lawyers Irwin Mitchell.
One of the firm’s lawyers, Jessica Bowles, said the family’s life had been ‘turned upside down’ by the events of August 1.
She urged motorists to take care on the roads at all times so other families would not have to experience the same loss as Simon’s.
“We will continue to support Linda and the rest of her family to help them try and come to terms with their loss the best they can,” she added.
Simon had been cycling to his job as a factory worker in East Worthing on the morning of August 1, 2019.
James Mackie, 95, from Littlehampton, was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order and banned from driving for four years, after which he must take an extended driving test.