A DRIVER has been jailed for two years after killing childhood sweethearts in a hit-and-run smash.
Ann, 75, and Lawrence Nickerson, 79, were walking from their parked car to their favourite restaurant when they were hit by a speeding car in Newcastle.
Ann was killed at the scene on Jesmond Road while her husband Lawrence was rushed to hospital – tragically dying just days later.
But instead of stopping to help, the driver sped from the scene.
Cops launched a massive hunt for the driver with Asif Hussain, 23, eventually handing himself in to police.
Yesterday Hussain was sentenced to two years behind bars at Newcastle Crown Court over the November 2019 incident.
The 23-year-old from Newcastle pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving, causing death whilst uninsured, failing to stop following a collision and possession of cannabis.
But the couple’s family said while the sentence gave them closure, they were still tormented by the deaths of Lawrence and Ann.
Nickerson family said: “Our family and all those that knew and loved our parents are still grieving their loss.
“They were the most wonderful people tragically taken from us before their time. We miss them beyond belief.”
They also thanked police for their “amazing support” through what had been a “horrendous time”.
Sergeant Matt Sykes from Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols department, said the deaths were “completely preventable”.
Sgt Sykes said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise the courage and bravery of the Nickerson family throughout these horrific circumstances and these incredibly difficult court proceedings.
“This has been a truly devastating case to bring before the courts and I hope today helps bring the family the first step towards the closure they deserve.
“Ann and Lawrence’s deaths were completely preventable and this incident shows just how the senseless and irresponsible actions of one person can bring total devastation to other people’s lives.
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“Hussain hit two innocent pedestrians because he was driving carelessly and too fast, and also fled the scene, leaving them dying in the road.
“One day his custodial sentence will come to an end, but hopefully the needless taking of the lives of two innocent people is something which will stay with him forever.
As well as his custodial sentence, Hussain has been disqualified from driving for three years after he’s freed.