A DEVASTATED family is urging drivers to obey the laws of the road following the death of a much-loved former teacher in Leamington.
Marlene Head was fatally injured after being struck by a car as she crossed Camberwell Terrace last September on her way to morning yoga. The 68-year-old was taken to hospital but died later that day from her injuries.
The driver, Samantha Kutty, of Maidavale Crescent, Styvechale, Coventry, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving –
after cutting the corner of the road junction in her Mercedes C200 – at an earlier hearing at Warwick Crown Court.
Kutty, who worked at nearby Leamington Dental Practice in Radford Road, was sentenced on Wednesday to a 26 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours’ unpaid work.
The 42-year-old was also disqualified from driving for three years after which she must undertake an extended retest in order to regain her licence.
The family has now joined road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in warning of the consequences of drivers not obeying the Highway Code.
Rebecca Hearsey, road collision lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Marlene was a much-loved wife, mother, and grandmother whose unnecessary death has not only had a huge impact on all her family and many friends, but also on former work colleagues and pupils.
“Through our work in supporting those who suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one through no fault of their own we regularly see the impact that not obeying the Highway Code can have on people’s lives. This case sadly is the latest example of this.
“We urge motorists to show consideration for all road users at all times so others don’t have to suffer the pain that Marlene’s family continue to face.
“We will continue to support the family at this distressing time.”
Marlene, who lived in Leamington, was married to Tom for more than 45 years. They had a daughter, Sarah, a veterinary surgeon, and son Murray, a medical doctor, and a young grandson, Wilfred, who was six weeks old at the time of her death.
Marlene taught for more than 40 years at schools across Warwickshire, including Kineton High School then both St Joseph’s Convent and Crackley Hall School in Kenilworth, before her retirement in 2015.
Tom said: “Marlene was a vibrant, compassionate and loving woman. She was loved, and now missed, by many of those whose paths met hers during her lifetime.
“Almost daily, I have to pass the scene of, and re-live, the event that robbed my wife of her life and robbed me of her companionship.
“Marlene was my world and her death has left a massive void in all our lives.”
Marlene was still active and enjoyed taking part in activities organised by the University of the Third Age movement, including teaching IT skills to retirees, whilst also doing occasional supply teaching.
She and Tom also planned on travelling. They had booked a holiday to Australia and had started organising a trip to Canada to visit relatives.
Tom added: “The world had been blessed by Marlene’s presence as one of life’s ‘good guys’. Marlene was a special woman who had given lots and was still giving.
“Our lives were built around sharing. Retired, but not resting, Marlene was very active and was my catalyst for many things.
“The circumstances of Marlene’s death play on my mind constantly. When I go to places that I previously visited with Marlene there are usually painful thoughts of her absence from each remembered scene and if I go somewhere that would have been new to us I feel only sadness that Marlene should have been with me to see and share the moments.
“I hope that by speaking out other drivers might realise the anguish and pain that can be caused through careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous driving.”