THE partner of a motorcyclist killed when he crashed into an oncoming lorry after taking a bend ‘too fast’ has told how she now treasures a video of him with her grandchildren.
Jacqui Ramsay, of Duchess Close, Linton, said she repeatedly watched the 90-second clip of Thomas Higgs as she struggled to come to terms with her grief.
She said: “I never knew about this video and discovered it when I recharged Tom’s mobile phone.
“It shows him driving down from Scotland with my granddaughter and playing a quiz.
“My granddaughter is also saying ‘there’s gran’ (in the car in front).
“It’s special because it’s the only thing I’ve got which shows him talking.
“I treasure it.”
Miss Ramsay spoke hours after attending an inquest which heard that a combination of low rear tyre pressure and high speed were the most likely causes of the crash which killed her partner in Caldwell Road, near Drakelow.
Mr Higgs died on March 28 — just two days before he planned to propose to his partner on her 54th birthday.
Miss Ramsay, a carer and support worker, said during a break in the inquest — which ruled Mr Higgs, a father-of-two and self-employed bricklayer, died accidentally — that she was approached by Philip Shaw, who drove the lorry involved in the smash.
Miss Ramsay said: “He came over and said ‘I would just like to say I’m really sorry for your loss’ and Tom’s mother, Erica, took his hand and then I did.
“He was in tears and very upset and I said ‘it was not your fault, it was an accident. It could not be avoided’.”
Miss Ramsay said the inquest, held exactly eight months after Mr Higgs’s death, was difficult but brought her a ‘sort of closure’.
She said: “I have to just try and move forward the best I can — but I will never forget him. I loved him dearly.”
Miss Ramsay said she had been off work for the past five weeks and was receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
She said: “I find it hard to sleep and keep going over everything. It’s going to take a long time to get over.”
However, Miss Ramsay said she drew strength from the support of her daughter, Cara, and the knowledge Mr Higgs had built their home, which made it feel as though he was ‘still around’.