A DRIVER cleared of causing the crash which killed his girlfriend and friend says he hopes he can now move on with his life.
Aaron Simpson, 19, of King’s Road, Oakham, was found not guilty of two charges of causing death by careless driving at Leicester Crown Court yesterday following a three-day trial.
Mr Simpson was driving a blue Ford Fiesta which hit a white Transit van side-on on the A6003 near the Sounding Bridge in Manton, on August 25, 2010.
The crash claimed the lives of Mr Simpson’s passengers, Kelly Bulmer, 17, and James Adamson, 23, both from Oakham.
The jury took just 30 minutes to reach its decision and as the verdicts were read out, Mr Simpson, his family and Miss Bulmer’s family broke down in tears.
Afterwards Mr Simpson said: “I feel overall relief. It is a big burden lifted off my shoulders. It is a big amount of stress that affects life in every way.
“It is a step forward. I hope I can start to get on with life now it is not on my shoulders that it could have been my fault.
“I am going to try to get on with life without this hanging over my head but I will never forget Kelly or James.
“I was very close to both of them. I miss them both and I think about them all the time.
“Kelly and James’ parents have suffered more than I have. They have lost a child and I cannot compare my loss to that of losing a child. I hope that they have got closure and they can start to rebuild their lives.”
Mr Simpson thanked his parents Karen and Mark and Miss Bulmer’s parents Pat and Keith, who have stood by him throughout.
He said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kelly’s parents, all my friends and family. Pat and Keith have never blamed me for one minute. I hope James’ parents can get on with their lives and it gives them closure. They have my sympathy.”
Mr Adamson’s parents were not in court during the trial.
Mr and Mrs Bulmer, of Irwell Close, Oakham, were also delighted with the verdict.
Mrs Bulmer said: “We are still grieving for Kelly but now we haven’t got the added anxiety about Aaron, who is still very much a part of our family. Kelly would be delighted with the verdict.”
Mr Bulmer added: “We are relieved and emotionally drained. When we heard the verdict our reaction was ‘Yes!’ and ‘thank goodness’. We felt it ought to have gone that way It is very difficult to be unbiased.”
We just hope that Aaron can get on and move on with his life.
“No-one can change the fact that we lost Kelly but at least we haven’t got this hanging over us anymore.
“We just hope that Aaron can get on and move on with his life.”
Mrs Simpson said she was glad everyone could move on from the court case.
She said: “We can all move on and Aaron can move on with a clear conscience. Pat and Keith can move on. They are great friends of ours and I’m glad they can find closure.
“I hope James’ mum can do that too. We would like to pass on our condolences to them. We were very saddened because James was a good friend of ours.”