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A1307 crash victim's family call for longer sentences for hit and run drivers




The mother and partner of a man killed in a hit and run accident are campaigning for tougher sentences to be handed out to the perpetrators of such crimes.

Louise Smyth and Louise Mepsted want heftier sentences given out, having lived through the nightmare of seeing their loved-one, 25-year-old Matt Smyth, die in the early hours of August 29, 2018, when the motorcycle he was riding on the A1307 near Linton was hit by a delivery driver, who then fled the scene.

Man who died in A1307 collision was a father-to-be from Duxford

The driver of the van, Ricardas Taraska, 23, from Norwich, was tracked down by police and admitted causing the accident and driving off.

Matt Smyth, right, with his mum Louise and brothers Max (left)and Andy. Submitted picture
Matt Smyth, right, with his mum Louise and brothers Max (left)and Andy. Submitted picture

He was later sentenced to 14 months in prison but, after serving five months, was deported to his native Lithuania. Matt’s family understands that Taraska did not continue his prison term once deported.

Matt’s partner Louise Mepsted, 24, who grew up in Balsham but at the time of the accident was living in Haverhill , said: “When my partner Mathew was killed I was eight weeks pregnant.

“Mathew was so excited when we first found out I was pregnant. I just know he would’ve been the best father to our child, everything I’ve ever wanted, the love of my life, gave me the bestest gift I could’ve asked for.

Ricardas Taraska was jailed for 14 months for causing the accident that resulted in the death of Matt Smyth
Ricardas Taraska was jailed for 14 months for causing the accident that resulted in the death of Matt Smyth

“Our daughter is now 18-months-old. Soon she will be asking where her daddy is, and I have many questions I’ll have to face soon enough.

“If it wasn’t for the support of my family and Mathew’s family I don’t know how I would’ve got though this.”

Louise and her daughter Freya now live in Sawston, not far from Matt’s home village of Duxford, where his mum Louise still lives.

Matt Smyth. Submitted picture
Matt Smyth. Submitted picture

After the tragedy, Matt's family went on to set up a charity in his name. Read about that HERE

Matt’s mum has launched an online petition entitled ‘Tougher sentences for hit and run drivers who cause death’.

It currently has more than 46,200 signatures but needs to hit 100,000 by January 20, 2021 for it to be considered for debate in Parliament.

Louise is yet to have to face telling Freya what happened to her dad, and said: “I don’t even know how I’m going to go about that or what I’m going to say.

“I’m just thinking about when she goes to school and when they will be making Father’s Day cards.

“It (the accident) honestly feels like yesterday. It doesn’t feel like two years.”

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