The wife of the former Chief Operating Officer at Wightfibre, who died in a road traffic collision, has said she believes her husband would still be alive had the driver that caused the collision been travelling at a safer speed.
Louise Poole has called for greater awareness of the dangers of speeding after the driver, David Balkauskas, pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a Southampton Crown Court hearing on Friday (4th June).
Simon Poole, father of 3 and Chief Operating Officer at Isle of Wight internet service provider WightFibre, was killed in 2019 when he was hit by Mr Balkauskas’ BMW X5 as he crossed the road to the Red Funnel ferry terminal in Southampton.
The driver was arrested on 2 counts – suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Speaking out after the hearing, Simon’s wife Louise said:
“I’m certain that, had Mr Balkauskas been driving more slowly, Simon would have survived, and I may still have my husband and our children their father. Speeding is always dangerous and irresponsible, but it should not have been a surprise to the driver that a pedestrian was at a pedestrian crossing, particularly so close to the ferry terminal.
“I am devastated that Mr Balkauskas has chosen to plead not guilty. Not only have we lost Simon, but our family must now face the ordeal of a trial. We had a wonderful life before this happened. Simon was a devoted family man. He was an incredible father and husband, and was much loved by his wider family. Simon was my best friend since we met 28 years’ ago. All that was taken away from us in a split second due to the actions of one man.”
Supporting Louise and the Poole family at the hearing was Matthew Claxson, Partner at law firm Moore Barlow.
Matthew Claxson said:
“My hope is that the heart-breaking words Louise has spoken about her loss serve to remind people how important it is to take care on the roads. We must always be vigilant behind the wheel, obey the rules of the road and be on the lookout for pedestrians.”
“We are saddened that the driver has chosen to plead not guilty and we now await the outcome of the trial.”
A date of 29th November 2021 has been set for Mr Balkauskas’ trial.