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Pal of tragic A66 biker: “I was so frightened we were also going to be hit”

James “Jimmy” Greenwood

THE daughter of a man killed after being hit by a driver on the A66 has described how her family’s “world was torn apart” by his death.

James Greenwood, aged 61, suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a BMW 1 series while crossing the road on foot with friends near Keswick just before 12-30am on April 7 last year.

Matthew Leggett

Driver Matthew Leggett, 25, was jailed for 16 months at Carlisle Crown Court last week, and handed a four-year driving ban. He’d admitted post-collision dangerous driving with a shattered windscreen, failing to stop and failing to report an accident. His pal, Finlay Davidson, 24, was jailed for 10 months for deleting mobile phone call data between he and Leggett in the immediate aftermath.

In a moving statement, Mr Greenwood’s daughter, Lisa Manning, said: “As a family we have had to deal with the sudden death of dad. We are only now beginning to get answers surrounding the events of his death some 18 months on.

“There are simply not enough words that can describe the impact that dad’s death and the way in which his life was taken has had on our family.”

Of Leggett, who drove off at high speed, she said: “At no point over the last 18 months has he shown any remorse or accountability for his actions or respect for our family. From the very start he has only considered himself and not the repercussions of his actions on a grieving family throughout a long and drawn-out legal process.”

Matthew Leggett’s badly-damaged BMW at the entrance to Setmurthy Woods

Of the collision itself, she added: “My family and I cannot understand how you can leave someone dead on the side of the road. It is without a shadow of a doubt that dad and anyone of us would have stopped that night and helped.

“Dad’s friends will forever have to live with what happened that night and images no-one should have to see. They will forever carry the image of their friend lying on the side of the road and the trauma of trying to revive him.

“This is something that no-one should ever have to go through. If Mr Leggett had stopped, then he could have helped in some way, even using his car as a warning for other vehicles on the road or simply calling the emergency services.”

Her comments were echoed by one of Mr Greenwood’s friends, Mike Wilkinson, who spoke in a statement about suffering “flashbacks” having been there that night.

“Had the driver stopped and helped us to try and save Jimmy’s life, I would be putting this down to a terrible tragic accident. If he hadn’t left, we could have used his car lights to lessen the confusion. He could have used his hazard lights to warn oncoming traffic as we were knelt in the road,” stated Mr Wilkinson.

“With no means of warning other drivers, I was so frightened we were also going to be hit. I continually struggle to understand how someone could have left us in the darkness as they did.”

In court Anthony Parkinson, for Leggett, had submitted he was “genuinely remorseful” for what happened, although the barrister conceded it “may be difficult for others to accept”.

Davidson’s barrister Kim Whittlestone said he’d committing his offence “out of a misguided sense of loyalty”, adding: “He panicked, and he bitterly regrets his actions.”

Ms Manning stated after the hearing: “We would like to thank the police and legal teams for everything they have done over the last 18 months. In no way have we been let down by them.”

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