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Mother pays tribute to husband and toddler who were killed in Nottinghamshire crash

The mother and wife of a man and toddler who were tragically killed after a drug-driver crashed into them has paid a loving tribute to them both.

Caroline Woodcock received the call no one ever wants to think about on 15 January 2022.

She later found out that both her husband John, aged 44, and two-year-old son Lewis, had been killed while driving home from visiting their family.

Expecting them both home to tell her all about their fun day out Caroline’s world was forever changed.

John known to friends and family as Dan, and Lewis were travelling along Chesterfield Road North, Pleasley, Nottinghamshire just after 6 pm when an Audi driven by James Gibson hit their vehicle side-on.

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Their car flipped and landed wedged between another car and a wall.

Gibson, aged 31, had been driving on the opposite side of the road, speeding, and he had also got behind the wheel after taking drugs.

He was also found to have run through red lights and undertaken other vehicles.

There was nothing Dan could have done to avoid the collision.

Gibson appeared at Nottingham Crown Court today (Monday 24 July) after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was jailed for 12 years and disqualified from driving for 18 years.

In tribute to her husband and son, Caroline said: “I would like to take this opportunity to finally say thank you to everyone who has been there for me over this past year.

“I would also like to say special thanks to the people who tried to help Louie and Dan on the night of this tragic accident, the innocent bystander, police, ambulance crew, doctors, and nurses at both Kingsmill Hospital and Queens Medical Centre.

•  Drug-driver jailed after killing father and toddler in Nottinghamshire crash

“I know we didn’t get the outcome we had hoped for, but I know all these people tried their very best to help my boys.

“The two amazing ambulance staff who were there for me whilst we waited, I will never forget you and everything you did for me.

“Now we have finally had the sentencing and this part is over, finally my boys can rest at peace and I and the family can try to build some sort of life where we try to come to terms with this horrific loss.”

In memory of both Dan and Louie a friend of the families has written two poems to express their feelings at their heartbreaking loss.

In memory of Dan, the poem reads: “So how do you put into words the man that is, that was, and that always will be John Dan Woodcock

“Well you don’t, I can’t

“I want to emblazon your name into the night because you burned with that delightful, raging fire

“But, I cannot put you into words

“What I can do is tell people how you made me feel

“How you made us, collectively feel

“Your open-heartedness as fluid as a bird’s wings

“You knew who your tribe were and there they all were

“Your ultimate goal in this life was to love ferociously, and you did it well

“You made me feel like I belonged – what a gift

“You made me laugh Dan,

“Belly aching laughs

“But what I feel more than anything is that feeling of belongingness

“In the end all we have is love

“And you, the mad hatter, you knew this

“And so, you turn to your queen, and you say

“Love doesn’t die, people do. So when all that is left of me is love, give me away.”

In memory of Louie, the poem reads: “My Darling Lewis Herbie Woodcock

“I think it is fair to say, that we cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the numbers of pages in it

“We must instead judge, by the richness of its contents, sometimes the unfinished are amongst the most beautiful symphonies.

“And you, dear Louie are amongst the most original unfinished symphony

“My little ray of light,

“We would play all day

“Fill the house with our dreams and our stories like volcanic lava our house filled with imagination and joy.

“We didn’t have time for the washing, or the cleaning, or making the dinner, caused we danced, boy did we dance and we span

“And now, now my little Louie is a star

“I cannot tell you which one but I will find myself standing outside, gazing at all of them

“He left me a present you see, and he laughed – that is his present

“Just that

“You see many people have stars but for me, I shall have stars like nobody else

“For when I look up at that kaleidoscopic array, I shall be waving at you, laughing with you

“Dancing with you,

“For you and me dear Louie, it shall be as if all the stars are laughing

“And when I am consoled

“Cause eventually, we will all be consoled, I will lay outside with you under the vastness of the night

“Under the unfinished symphonies strumming out their original tune into the night

“And I shall laugh with my little prince and his pappa bear.

“I love you sweet boys and miss you every day. Rest now, rest at peace. xxx”

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