On July 1st 2011 a Worthing motorcyclist caused the death of a pedestrian in North Street Worthing. The victim’s widow Christine asks motorists to stop and think about what could happen in a moment of carelessness brought about by drink.
One minute Christine’s husband Alan was helping choose a new shower and the next he was struck and killed by the motorcyclist who was over the limit.
The couple from Portslade were at the Bathstore in Worthing when Alan went to go and move the car. As he crossed through stationary traffic on North Street, he was hit by the motorcyclist who had been drinking.
Arthur Burke from Worthing, who was 52 at the time, was convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs and sentenced to two years eight months.
Christine said: “I remember a man ran into the shop saying someone had been hit, and I just knew it was Alan. I went into shock. I was taken to Worthing Hospital and then a doctor came into see me and told me Alan had died. It was awful.”
“Even if it’s just a pint, some people say that doesn’t affect them, but I would say don’t even have a sip. How would they feel if they lost someone they loved or they were injured themselves by a drunk driver? It’s not worth it, just to have a drink. That motorcyclist did not consider the lethal consequences of what could, and did, happen after he drank alcohol and then rode his motorbike carelessly that day.
“Alan was funny and mischievous, full of fun and always playing practical jokes. I miss him all the time.”
PC Steve Taylor from the Road Policing Unit acted as the Family Liason Officer after Alan was killed.
He said: “I have been a road policing officer for eight years and dealing with someone involved in a collision doesn’t get any easier. But knowing a motorist has been drinking makes me question every time whether a collision could have been prevented.
“If that person had made the decision to get a taxi home, things could have been very different. As a police officer I am also the one who makes the visit to the homes of those involved and breaks the news that their loved one is in hospital or has died. I would never wish that visit or breaking that news on anyone.
“Please make the right choice this summer and don’t drink and drive.”