‘We will never forgive death driver,’ says distraught family

photograph of Roy David Smith , aged 61 yrs, of Swinton who died in a fatal crash at South Elkington, Lincs, which led to motorist Lesley Raynor being sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court for causing death by careless driving.

photograph of Roy David Smith , aged 61 yrs, of Swinton who died in a fatal crash at South Elkington, Lincs, which led to motorist Lesley Raynor being sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court for causing death by careless driving.

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The distraught family of a South Yorkshire motorcyclist killed when a car driver turned into his path say they will never forgive the woman who caused his death.

Proud grandfather and dad-of-two Roy Smith, aged 61, was on his way from his home in Swinton, Rotherham, to visit his elder sister in Skegness when motorist Lesley Raynor failed to see him as she made a right turn.

Mr Smith - who in his 30s had beaten cancer - suffered multiple injuries in the collision on the A631 at South Elkington, near Louth, Lincolnshire, and died later the same day in hospital.

Today his elder son Shaun Smith, 42, said: “I can never forgive Lesley Raynor for killing my dad. She needlessly cut his life short and took him away from his family.

“He fought and survived cancer for 22 years, only to be killed by a careless driver.

“Dad loved motorcycling. He started riding bikes at 16. Motorcycling was his passion. He was a careful rider and instilled that caution into my brother and me.

“The only comfort is that dad was out doing what he loved when he died.”

Raynor, 43, of Wilton Avenue, Chapel St Leonards, admitted causing death by careless driving on July 29 last year.

But she escaped prison - and instead was given 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £350 costs at Lincoln Crown Court.

Judge Michael Heath, who banned Raynor from driving for a year, told her: “The motorcycle was there to be seen and you didn’t see it. Why you didn’t is a complete mystery.

“There was no drink involved. There was no excess speeding and there was no hurry on your part.

“You knew the road and you drove carefully that day - except when you came to make this right turn. This was a case of momentary inattention.”

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Mr Smith, who had worked as a dispatch rider and as a long distance lorry driver, had his headlights on and was clearly visible on his 125cc machine.

“It would have been hard not to see it,” Mr Howes told the court.

Raynor, who was on her way to work at a children’s centre, stopped immediately after the collision and, after contacting the emergency services, remained at the scene to ensure Mr Smith was not hit by any other vehicles.

She later told police she simply did not see his motorcycle.

David Eager, defending, said Raynor’s careless driving occurred in just a couple of seconds.

He said Raynor would live for the rest of her life with the knowledge that she had caused the death of Mr Smith.

Mr Eager added: “I apologise to the family of Mr Smith.”

Mr Smith, who had been a motorbike enthusiast from an early age, served in the Army and later in the fire brigade before working as a trucker.

He overcame cancer when he was in his late thirties and fought back from the disease to return to work, and in his later years was employed as a dispatch driver.