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Fatal motorbike crash widower backs call for compulsory reversing cameras on large vehicles

The widower of a hugely popular teacher has added his weight to a campaign for HGV lorries to be fitted with compulsory reversing cameras.

Isabel and Daniel Gilchrist

17 March 2020

Daniel Gilchrist’s wife Isabel, aged 63, was killed when a HGV lorry reversed into their stationary motorbike on a country road in Northumberland in June 2018.
 
Daniel, aged 66, suffered serious injuries in the collision.
 
The Hexham Courant reported that lorry driver, Andrew Reed told Newcastle Crown Court he hadn’t seen the motorbike behind his vehicle and he believed he had made all the checks possible in advance of the manoeuvre to make way for another HGV vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
 
The court heard evidence that the vehicle was fitted with a reversing camera but it was not working at the time of the accident.
 
A jury found Mr Reed not guilty of separate charges of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.
 
Now Daniel is backing a campaign by one of his late wife’s former pupils to make it a legal requirement for reversing cameras to be fitted and operational on any large vehicle.
 
A petition has been launched online by Lynda Stevenson, who said:
 
“The world was a better place for having had Isabel Gilchrist in it. It would still be a better place had it been for one thing - a reversing camera on that lorry. That is why I believe this should be a legal requirement on any large vehicle - to stop this happening to anyone else.”
 
Daniel Gilchrist said:
 
“As Lynda says, Isabel was an amazing, kind and passionate woman who, when she saw something wrong, did something about it. Let’s do something about this gap in the law. If that camera had been working on that lorry, the driver would have seen us on the motorbike, and Isabel would still be with us today.”
 
The collision in which Isabel died happened on the C200 in Kielder on June 25, 2018.
 
Daniel is being represented in his personal injury claim by Leigh Day solicitors.
 
Solicitor, Laura Murphy said:
 
“Daniel lost his wife and he suffered serious injuries in the collision on the country road in 2018.
 
“He and fellow campaigners believe that if the tipper lorry’s on-board cameras had been working that day, the driver would have seen the motorbike and would not have reversed his vehicle, with catastrophic results.
 
“A change to the law would be a fitting tribute in memory of Isabel, who is missed so desperately by her family and friends.”

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