Hike sentence

Suspended sentence for man who ran over and killed his father while crossing

The wife of a man who died when he was run over at a pedestrian crossing has called on drivers to be more careful on the roads after the driver who caused the death of her husband was today sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Simon Poole, father-of-three and chief operating officer of Isle of Wight internet service provider WightFibre, was killed in 2019 when he was hit by a BMW X5, driven by Deividas Balkauskas.

Simon Poole was using a pedestrian crossing at the Red Funnel ferry terminal in Southampton at the time of the accident.

Today’s sentencing follows Balkauskas, 41, of Eling Road, Totton, who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving in November 2021. Along with a two-year suspended sentence, he also received a 12 month driving ban, 250 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Commenting on the sentencing, Simon’s wife, Louise Poole, said: “The past two years have been devastating for our family and while today’s decision helps us move on with our lives, learning to live without Simon remains a daily struggle.I am sure that, if Mr. Balkauskas had driven at a safe speed, Simon would have survived, and I would still have my husband and our children their father.

“To any driver seeing this I would say ‘please, please slow down on the roads’. Simon was my best friend, we met 28 years ago and started a family together, and a man’s actions alienated him from me and my family. It doesn’t bring Simon back, but at least Mr. Balkauskas will have to face some consequences for his actions.

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

He added: “This is yet another tragic example of the pain caused by speeding and reckless driving. Mr. Balkauskas did not mean to kill that day, but his complete disregard for safety is the reason for which Simon is no longer with us.

“The Government’s recent changes to the Highway Code reinforce the importance that motorists must remain extremely alert to pedestrians at intersections and level crossings at all times. I hope Mr. Balkauskas’ sentence will serve to remind people how important it is to be careful on the roads.