St Ives biker killed in crash with ambulance was ‘ always willing to help’
THE family of a motorcyclist who died in a collision with an ambulance that was responding to an emergency call have described him as an adventurer, who was always willing to help.
Neil Griffiths, 54, of Meadow Lane, Houghton, was on his way home after having dinner with his eldest son Ben, 29, in Lowestoft, when an ambulance pulled out in front of him on the A146, at Hales, Norfolk.
Last Friday ambulance driver Ivor Prow, 52, of Gorleston Road, Oulton Broad, was cleared of causing death by careless driving, following a five-day trial at Norwich Crown Court.
The court heard that Mr Prow, a paramedic for 27 years, was responding to a report of a woman who had suffered a suspected stroke on July 9 last year when he pulled out in front of Mr Griffiths, who was riding a motorbike.
Witnesses said the ambulance driver looked as if he was lost.
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Following the verdict, the family have vowed to move on.
Mr Griffith’s son Dan Wilderspin, 27, who grew up in the St Ives area, and now lives in Sawston, said Mr Prow would “see the accident every day. He will remember it – it’s not something he will forget”.
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The field engineer added that his father was an adventurer and “would never say no to anyone who wanted help”.
“He was very outgoing and he liked to explore,” he said. “He climbed Mount Everest, Mont Blanc, Ben Nevis a few times, and I remember driving him around when he took part in the Three Peaks Challenge.
“He had a big personality and always strove to ensure everyone around him was happy.
“He was an experienced and safe motorcyclist and was planning several European trips on his bike, including Italy with some of his friends.”
Mr Griffiths was a director at Multitone, a King’s Lynn-based company that provides paging systems to the fire service.
He also leaves behind his exwife Davina Griffiths, children Samantha Griffiths, 25, and Todd Fielder, 27, and partner Sally Hewings.
Mr Griffiths’s family described him as a keen builder who had built three homes, one each in Houghton, Fen Drayton and Cottenham in the last 12 years, and renovated another in Willingham.
“It is impossible to put into words how this has affected us all as his family, but to say he’s missed is merely a start,” the family said in a statement.
“Although the last year has affected us deeply, and we now have to live without Neil, we also know that Neil’s death has touched others too, including the people who witnessed the collision, and those involved in it.”
Mr Prow’s barrister Jonathan Goodman described the paramedic as an “honest, diligent and skilled paramedic, caught up in a nightmare”.
The East of England Ambulance Service said after the verdict: “This was a very tragic case and our thoughts go out to all those affected by it, in particular the family of Neil Griffiths.
“Driving under emergency conditions is challenging and we provide rigorous training and continual comprehensive support for all our frontline staff.”