THE parents of a man killed on a pedestrian crossing by a lorry have helped launch a guide to help victims of road accidents and their families.

The official launch of the new RoadPeace North East guide was held at Durham Cathedral on Monday morning.

Jake Thomson, a 27-year-old teaching assistant, from Durham, died five days after he was struck by a lorry on the A37 in Bristol, in May 2011.

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His parents, John and Janet Thompson, from Belmont, Durham, joined two of the region’s police commissioners, Barry Coppinger and Ron Hogg, and members of RoadPeace North East at the launch.

John Thompson said: “When it first happened, we didn’t know where to turn or what to expect fortunately we met David through Thompsons Solicitors who was able to explain everything and together, we went on to form RoadPeace North East.

“This guide will be a real lifeline to bereaved families struggling to navigate a new world of police, inquests and the legal system.”

In 2014, a jury found Paul Vowles, from Bristol, ‘not guilty’ of causing death by dangerous driving.

The court was told he was driving slightly above the speed limit and went through a traffic light as it changed.

It was said Mr Thompson stepped onto the crossing when the light for pedestrians was red into the path of the Mercedes truck.

The booklet which offers a full range of practical information and guidance to families in the wake of a road crash.

Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said: “While we do everything we can to protect vulnerable road users, it’s invaluable to be able to share this booklet in the event of a tragic road collision. “ Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland said he was ‘committed to supporting this most worthwhile cause’.

David Robinson, chairman of RoadPeace North East and serious injury lawyer at Thompson’s Solicitors, said: “Accidents increase due to the warmer dryer weather, seeing more cyclists and pedestrians on the roads, along with sadly a rise in drink driving.

“RoadPeace North East provides professional and peer support to families in the immediate aftermath of a serious or fatal road crash.

“We are grateful to our partners in the police for backing the guide and ensuring it will be made available to families in need across the North East to support our work.”