'We will never get over losing Mitchell in such a horrific way'
PUBLISHED: 11:51 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 20 November 2018
The family of Royston dad-of-three Mitchell Bailey, who died when a fire engine crashed while responding to a 999 call have said their “happy and contented family has been left broken” and they feel the driver “showed no compassion”, after a jury found him not guilty of dangerous driving on Friday last week.
Mitchell Bailey, 58, was at the roundabout linking Old North Road with Burns Road walking home from the shops when the fire engine driven by Royston firefighter David Williams toppled over and killed him on January 18 last year.
During the trial at St Albans Crown Court the jury heard that an accident investigator had found Mr Williams was driving the fire engine at between 37.5mph and 39mph immediately prior to entering the roundabout.
The maximum speed for the vehicle to safely negotiate the roundabout was 21.6mph, the court heard.
The 48-year-old of Baldock Street in Royston denied causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving, and was acquitted of both charges by the jury on Friday last week.
Johnson Matthey employee and Roman Way First School govenor Mr Bailey was married to Carol for more than 30 years, and they had children Charlotte, Alyce and George.
Mrs Bailey released a statement after the trial, which said: “Mitch worked hard his whole life to ensure our family wanted for nothing.
“He provided for us, not just financially but emotionally too. He was a wonderful father and husband, caring, thoughtful, generous and above all selfless.
“The strong bond our children all had with their dad has so unfairly been taken away.
“Although they are all grown up, we were such a close family and Mitch such an important part of their day to day lives. They relied heavily on his support, love and friendship. His loss is one that is irreplaceable to them.
“We will never ever get over losing him in such a horrific and tragic way. Our lives have changed forever because of it. Our whole extended family has been changed because of that night. I have lost my best friend, we knew each other inside out.
“Our close, happy and contented family has been left broken, our lives are in turmoil and I’m worried we may never rebuild the fun, happy family bond Mitch and I had worked so hard for and were so very proud of.
“One of the things that has been hardest to deal with is the complete lack of remorse shown on the driver’s part – while we accept he is entitled to defend himself, we feel he has done so in a way that showed no compassion for our family and the terrible loss we have suffered.
“Our family would like to thank the police for their professionalism and understanding, the Crown Prosecution Service barrister for his guidance and above all the Road Victims Trust for their continued support and care.”