Tribute to ‘wonderful’ couple after minibus crash tragedy
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Two sons have paid a moving tribute to their parents after the ‘wonderful’ married couple died in a road crash.
Stuart and Claire Balmer tragically lost their lives after a minibus collided with them while they walked on the pavement along Bramcote Lane, Wollaton, on 20 March 2023.
After an inquest into their deaths today (25 September), sons Chris and Rob Balmer said their mum and dad will be ‘deeply missed’.
“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of two wonderful people,” they said in a statement released to Nottinghamshire Police.
“Mum and dad were active and sociable people who had the prospect of many adventurous years ahead of them.
“As a future without them in our lives begins, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are no longer able to make new memories with them.
“We can only cherish the memories that we made with them, hold them close to our hearts and remember them fondly.”
Stuart and Claire, who met at the University of Nottingham, were well travelled and had recently been planning trips to Portugal and Italy.
Chris and Rob remember childhood holidays with their parents to France, Germany, Denmark and Spain.
Seventy-two-year-old Stuart, who was born in North Yorkshire, was a retired architect and Claire, aged 70, had served as a senior probation officer.
Claire, who grew up in Ireland, was a keen member of both singing and walking groups.
Chris and Rob were both born when the couple lived in Sheffield, before the family moved and settled in the Nottingham area in 1985.
They will also be deeply missed by Stuart’s two brothers, Simon and Robin, and sister Elizabeth, as well as Claire’s sister Ursula and brother Kevin.
“While hearing details of this terrible series of events has been extremely painful, the inquest can hopefully help us to start the process of healing and come to terms with the facts of what has happened,” Chris and Rob's statement added.
“We would like to thank the first responders who cared for our parents and provided medical assistance in their final moments.
“Mum and dad, Stuart and Claire, goodbye, we miss you. Forever. Always.”
Following an inquest held at Nottingham Coroner’s Court, assistant coroner Nathanael Hartley recorded a verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision for both Stuart and Claire.
An investigation by Nottinghamshire Police found the driver of the minibus had lost control of the vehicle after suffering a medical episode at the wheel.
The minibus struck the kerb of a central pedestrian refuge before mounting the pavement where it collided with Stuart and Claire.
Detective Constable Chris Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This tragic incident has taken the lives of a loving couple who were adored by so many people.
“We sincerely hope as a result of today’s inquest everyone who has been impacted by the incident will be able to find some peace that the investigation has concluded and begin to move on with their lives.
“Our thoughts remain with Chris and Rob, other members of their family and the couple’s many friends. Our specialist family liaison officers will continue to support them throughout this difficult time.”