Family speaks of grief after dangerous driver jailed for killing grandmother in Doncaster

A family has told of their heartache after a dangerous driver was jailed for running over a grandmother who was ‘tossed to the side of the road like a rag doll.’

Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 09:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 08:59 am

Pedestrian Susan Gravel, aged 62, was hit by a BMW in Station Road, Stainforth, in March 2017 and died in hospital later that day from her injuries.

Susan Gravel.

Jerry James Smith, who was driving the car, failed to stop at the scene after colliding with the grandmother at high speed.

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The 19-year-old, of HMP Doncaster, was jailed for 13 years on Friday after he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving following a four-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

In a statement read out in court, Susan’s daughter Claire said: “A lot of my family, including me, ended up at the scene and watched as the paramedics worked hard to resuscitate my mum’s lifeless body, that had been tossed to the side of the road like a rag doll.

“That is an everlasting image and the last image of my mum alive.”

Jerry James Smith.

She expressed how losing her mum has left a hole that can never be filled in their family.

Said Claire: “Our family are very close, with everyone helping to look after each other and my mum was at the heart of it all.

“When she died, she didn’t just die, she was taken and the heart of our family was ripped out.

“Her love and care was felt by us all and to lose that love and that care in the way that we did has been life changing to us all.”

After the court hearing, Sergeant Richard Hunter said: “Smith not only caused the death of an innocent woman, he also put the lives of other pedestrians and road users in danger.

“It is deplorable that someone would leave the scene of an accident, let alone one where someone was seriously injured, and since that tragic day, Smith has continued to show no remorse for his actions.

“Susan’s family have been extremely brave through this difficult time and I hope they can find comfort in today’s result.”