Parents of baby killed when elderly driver crashed into pram beg for safer roads

A mum has begged for safer roads after her baby was killed in a crash.

Rachael Thorold was walking her five-month-old son Louis in his pram next to the A10 in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire last January when a pensioner crashed into them.

Louis was killed instantly and Rachael spent 10 days in a coma and was left with serious injuries.

Last week, driver Shelagh Robertson, 75, was acquitted of causing Louis’ death by careless driving by reason of insanity.

Jurors accepted she was suffering from undiagnosed dementia.

Louis’ parents Chris and Rachael have told ITV News Anglia they thought the jury’s decision was the “best and right verdict”.

They also discussed how they are launching the Louis Thorold Foundation to campaign for safer roads.

Rachael, who spent 118 days in the hospital, says she now feels “cognitively and emotionally stronger every day”.

She says because of the seriousness of her injuries she has no memory of the crash.

She said: “I think the trial allowed me to have more of an understanding of what happened and I found, while it was hard work, it was beneficial.

“I realised I was a victim and there was nothing I could do. I had felt so guilty and asked ‘why couldn’t I have done something?’

“Having watched the dashcam footage, I had no chance and I feel more accepting of that now.”

The couple has since moved away from the area and that family successfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph at the junction where Louis was killed.

They also believe the case of Ms Robertson highlights the need for a change in the rules around driving fitness checks from filling out a form to getting an independent medical assessment.

The couple has also launched the Louis Thorold Foundation which is aimed at preventing infant pedestrian deaths.

Mr Thorold said: “I think what we’ve done with the charity and foundation, it’s not that we’re trying to replace him – he’s always in our hearts and the memories are incredible.

“But I do think that as we gain traction, the foundation is him and his impact on the world. He will follow us everywhere and we’ll see where we go with it.”