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Sway crash widow Louise Poole calls for drivers to take greater care after Deividas Balkauskas sentenced for fatally hitting her husband, Simon Poole, in 2019

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THE widow of a Sway man who was killed by a speeding driver nine days before Christmas has called on motorists to take greater care on the roads.

Louise Poole’s plea comes in the wake of Deividas Balkauskas (41), of Eling Road, Totton, being handed a suspended 18-month jail term for fatally hitting her husband Simon, while driving his BMW ZX5. He had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Balkauskas, a Lithuanian national who has settled status in the UK, was also told to do 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 court charges. He was banned from driving for a year.

Simon Poole died after the crash in December 2019
Simon Poole died after the crash in December 2019

Southampton Crown Court heard Balkauskas was driving above the 30mph limit when his vehicle struck the 47-year-old father-of-three at Town Quay, Southampton, on 16th December 2019. Mr Poole had just left a work do with friends and was crossing the route when struck.

"To any driver seeing this, I would say ‘please, please slow down on the roads’," Louise said. "Simon was my best friend, we met 28 years ago and built a family together, and the actions of one man have taken him away from me and my family.

"It doesn’t bring Simon back, but at least Mr Balkauskas will face some consequences for his actions."

She added: "The last two years have been devastating for our family and while today’s decision goes some way to help us move on with our lives, learning to live without Simon remains a daily struggle.

"I’m certain that, had Mr Balkauskas been driving at a safe speed, Simon would have survived, and I would still have my husband and our children their father."

Simon Poole with wife Louise and their three children
Simon Poole with wife Louise and their three children

Supporting Louise and the Poole family at the hearing was Matthew Claxson, personal injury partner at law firm Moore Barlow.

He added: "This is yet another tragic example of the pain wrought by speeding and careless driving. Mr Balkauskas did not set out to kill that day, but his wanton disregard for safety is the reason Simon is no longer with us.

"The government’s recent changes to the Highway Code reinforce the importance that motorist must remain extra vigilant for pedestrians at junctions and crossings at all times.

"I hope that Mr Balkauskas’ sentence will serve to remind people how important it is to take care on the roads."

As reported in the A&T, Mr Poole was a military veteran having joined the Royal Navy straight from school and completed operational deployments to the Falkland Islands and the Middle East.

He later worked in start-up companies including his own which specialised in Blackberry smartphone services.

At the time of his death, he was chief operating officer of WightFibre, which provides fibre optic broadband, phone and television services to homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight.

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