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Hero Gary saved many others by giving up his life; COURT: Dad who shouted warning killed as he tried to help dying teenager.

Byline: By James Cartledge

A BIRMINGHAM driver who was killed trying to help a dying teenager was hailed a hero who saved many lives by giving up his own.

"Good Samaritan" Gary Roberts, of Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, was knocked down on a motorway after he stopped to help 14-year-old Raymond Lovelace, from Hockley.

Raymond had been fatally injured seconds earlier when a pick-up truck he was travelling in overturned.

The bravery of Mr Roberts was hailed by police after lorry driver Simon Clark was jailed for 21 months for killing the father-of-two on the M40 at the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border.

Sgt Peter Jell, of Thames Valley Police, said the 49-year-old divorcee shouted a warning to others who had stopped at the accident scene before he was killed.

"It is believed that just prior to being hit Gary called out a warning," Sgt Jell said.

"As a result of his actions, he probably saved other lives."

Clark (37), of Hemel Hempstead, ploughed through warnings placed in the road by drivers who stopped to help Raymond in the early hours of December 17 last year.

Sgt Jell said: "He ignored motorway matrix signs, warning beacons, hazard lights and other things and did not stop or slow down until it was too late.

"As a result of his gross inattention, Gary Roberts died.

"Professional drivers, especially those who drive large goods vehicles, must ensure they pay full attention to the road ahead.

"If they fail to do so, the results are catastrophic for all involved."

Sitting at Oxford Crown Court, Judge Julian Hall jailed Clark for 21 months for causing death by dangerous driving and banned him from the roads for three-and-a-half years.

Mr Roberts worked with his brother, Colin, at the family car business, Digbeth-based DM Roberts Repairs.

He was driving home from seeing his girlfriend, Clemmie Reuben, in London when he spotted the overturned Mitsubishi pick-up in which Raymond had been travelling.

The schoolboy's father and sister, who were also inside the truck, escaped with minor injuries.

Today, Colin Roberts said he was unhappy with the length of the sentence imposed on Clark.

"He made a terrible mistake and took my brother away," he said.

"He altered the lives of Gary's children and partner. And yet he will be out in less than two years and enjoying himself.

"I would have liked Clark to have received a life sentence but that was never going to happen.

"The police said it would have been different if he'd killed my brother with a knife or gun rather than in a motoring accident. But I don't see the difference."

"Police said it would have been different if he'd killed my brother with a knife or gun . . . but I don't see the difference



GOOD SAMARITAN... heroic Gary Roberts gave up his life to save that of another.; FLASHBACK... left, the home of Raymond Lovelace, and our story in 2006.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 10, 2007
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