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'She is frozen in time': Father pays emotional tribute to daughter killed by unlicenced HGV driver

"Next year Josephine's sister will be older than her, her two year younger sister will be older than her"...

A father whose daughter was killed by an unlicenced HGV driver while out cycling has paid an emotional tribute to her in a heartbreaking video.

Bobby Gilbert spoke about what life was like without his daughter and his pain at 'never seeing her fall in love, start a family, or grow old'.

He concludes by saying he just 'misses not being able to go on some big rides in the Peaks' with her. 

25-year-old Josephine Gilbert, was killed by Herbert Wyatt who was driving unlicenced and uninsured, having had his licence revoked 12 weeks earlier due to concerns over his eyesight and diabetes.

Josephine was riding on the A52 Ashbourne Road close to the Markeaton Island roundabout when she was hit from behind by Wyatt, 65, on January 21.

> Lorry driver killed cyclist three months after his licence was revoked because of his eyesight

Now, nearly two years after that tragic day, Josephine's father, Bobby, has spoken on camera to highlight the ongoing devastating impact dangerous, and careless, driving can have.

In an emotional interview with Derbyshire Police, Mr Gilbert speaks about his daughters' love of cycling and the long training rides the pair used to go on in the Peak District. 

Mr Gilbert was speaking to raise awareness among HGV and other commercial drivers of the vulnerability of cyclists out on the road.

He said: "If you are in the bigger vehicle, you are responsible. Cyclists, they are not perfect people, they do stuff wrong.

"Everyone can tell a story about a cyclist who jumped a red light or cyclists are they allowed to ride two abreast?

"Well they are. But it can be irritating at times and people seem to get irritated by people in lycra for some reason.

"I just say 'look, yes, it can be irritating. It can be frustrating. But they are really vulnerable and you're not. Because you are in a metal box...

He added: "Next year Josephine's sister will be older than her, her two year younger sister will be older than her.

"As life moves on I think it will become, it already is, more apparent that she is frozen in time...

"I don't think it will ever be something I move on from." 

In interview after the collision Wyatt claimed he had moved out to overtake and that Gilbert had 'rode out into him'.

However, dashcam footage showed Gilbert riding consistently in a straight line and near the kerb.

Wyatt pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving; causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured; and causing death by dangerous driving while unlicensed.

He was jailed for 45 months and banned from driving for five years and three months.

Over the last three years in Derby, heavy goods and light goods vehicles have been involved in 730 collisions - resulting in 944 people getting injured, 25 of which were fatal.

Mr Gilbert added: “I’m sure Josephine was aware, by the traffic noise, that there was a big vehicle about to pass her – but there wasn’t even a twitch of the helmet.

“And so, knowing that she knew absolutely nothing, well that is good. But as a person left behind it’s really hard.”

Josephine was a keen racing cyclist and in 2015 she started both the women’s edition of Ghent-Wevelgem and the Troffee Maarten Wynants in Belgium, going on to finish 29th in the women’s British TT Championships and 41st in the road race (won by Lizzie Deignan).

She raced for the Velosure-Starley Primal Pro Cycling Team and took part in time trials across the UK, including a 19th place finish in the 2015 National Hill Climb Championships.

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9 comments

Avatar
Runningwolf | 2 years ago
5 likes

A very moving video that should be used as a road safety film on all TV and other social media platforms to try to educate people about the responsibility that people take when driving motor vehicles. Or these could be the consequenses of your actions.  Unfortunately too many lives are lost on the roads due to poor driving skills, or in this case a sheer disregard for other road users, given the fact the driver had his license taken away before he killed the cyclist.  We must ALL take responsibility when out on the roads towards other road users, regardless of their mode of transport.  If this video could save just one life, then that is a positive.

I hope the family of Josephine can find peace, for their loss, and I personally thank them for sharing this video.      

Avatar
hennie | 2 years ago
6 likes

What a lovely man. I found that very moving. I'd love to go for a ride with you in the Peak District Bobby. 
I hope you find some peace. 

Avatar
anagallis_arvensis | 2 years ago
8 likes

Bloody hell, that's powerful stuff, what a brave guy.

Avatar
Gavin_H | 2 years ago
20 likes

It blows me away how you can lose your HGV license over eyesight and diabetes, kill someone with your negligent driving while driving an HGV with no license and insurance, and only get a five year driving ban. He should never be allowed to drive any vehicle again. I've never had a license and I've been fine getting the bus, walking, and cycling.

Avatar
EK Spinner replied to Gavin_H | 2 years ago
9 likes

totally agree, and why does he get charged with driving offences which come with a lighter sentence, he had no right to be driving so should be facing manslaughter charges instead

 

Avatar
jaymack replied to Gavin_H | 2 years ago
2 likes

Life bans just don't work which is why they no longer get handed out. Yes they sound tough, but so does saying that jail sentences should be longer, prison harsher, remission non-existent, but none of these things actually work. If we want roads to be safer we need to invest in better Policing (cutting road policing was an easy way to achieve austerity's targets) and better infrastructure. This disqualified driver will have to undertake an extended test in order to regain his driving licence, the failure rate is high and the likelihood of him being back on the road, at least legally, is slim. 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
13 likes

Another moving tribute to be posted up in driver training buildings.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

But do they even get posted there?  I have my doubts. 

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

But do they even get posted there?

Of course they don't, but they should be.

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