‘I can’t forgive driver who left my son to die’

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The father of a 19-year-old who died in an accident says he cannot forgive the driver who left his son to die.

Joshua Reed was killed in October last year after a car being driven by his friend Jay Gilbert crashed.

Gilbert, who had not passed a driving test, was given 27 months in custody on Friday after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

But Joshua’s dad Michael, of Park Lane, Donington, says what hurts the most is that Gilbert and another driver – who was arrested at the scene but faced no charges in relation to the accident – left the scene without calling an ambulance for his son.

Instead the other man drove them back to Joshua’s house – about 15 miles from the accident on the A52 at Aswarby – where they told Michael his son had been in an accident but was talking to firefighters who were trying to free him from the wreckage and was going to be OK.

Mr Reed rushed to the scene, where he was led to believe by Gilbert and another man that it was Joshua’s 14-year-old girlfriend who had been seriously injured.

He said: “They told me they felt sorry for her family, so I assumed she was dead and I was standing there thinking how I was going to console Josh.

“I stood behind the barrier where they had closed the road for about two hours when a police officer came over to me and dropped the bombshell that Josh was dead.”

Mr Reed later found out it had been left to witnesses to call 999 after the crash because Jay Gilbert “did a runner”.

Despite their best efforts, Josh, who was just three days short of his 19th birthday, would have died within minutes from the serious injuries he sustained in the crash.

Mr Reed said: “I have found that very hard to deal with.

“It is hard enough to deal with the fact your son has been killed in an accident, but I think you could come to terms with that, but not this.

“This accident should never have happened. Jay Gilbert, who Josh had known for about a year, should not have been driving. Six weeks before the accident he came into the pub and said he had passed his test – I had no reason to disbelieve him, but it was a lie.

“But putting all that aside, when they crashed he should have stayed there and held Josh’s hand until he died.

“Instead he drove 15 miles to tell me that my son was fine. It was a blatant lie, which I find hard to forgive.”