A MOVING tribute has been paid by the children of a married couple who died in a collision in Nottingham earlier this year.
Stuart Balmer and his wife Claire, who grew up in Ireland, were walking on a pavement when a minibus collided with them on Bramcote Lane, Wollaton on March 20, 2023.
An investigation by Nottinghamshire Police found the driver 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 the couple.
'Devastated and heartbroken'
Speaking after an inquest into their deaths earlier this week, the couple's 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.
"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, 72, was a retired architect while 70-year-old Claire had served as a senior probation officer and was a keen member of both singing and walking groups.
The couple had met at the University of Nottingham.
Their sons 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 Claire's sister Ursula and brother Kevin, as well as Stuart's brothers Simon and Robin and sister Elizabeth.
"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," added the couple's sons.
"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."
'Adored by so many'
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.
"This tragic incident has taken the lives of a loving couple who were adored by so many people," said Detective Constable Chris Taylor of Nottinghamshire Police.
"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."