The devastated family of a dedicated teacher, who was killed while cycling home from work, has received £580,000 compensation, with help from UNISON.

David Kerslake, who worked as Head of Science at Sharples School, in Bolton, was just 44-years-old when he was knocked off his bike on Compton Way, in Bolton, in October 2004.

He was hit from behind by a car driven by a diabetic, who suffered a hypoglycaemic attack and lost control.

Mr Kerslake, from Radcliffe, in Greater Manchester, left behind his wife, Jacqueline, 48, a UNISON member and a nurse at North Manchester General Hospital, and daughter, Lydia, who is now eight.

Claim for compensation made against driver

Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary, said: “David’s family has been devastated by his death. I am glad that UNISON was able to help Jacqueline Kerslake pursue a claim against the driver.

“The money won’t compensate for David’s loss. But it will help fund a future for their little girl.

“He was a hugely popular family man and a dedicated teacher and will be sadly missed by the whole community.”

Mrs Kerslake said: “I had a lot of reservations about fighting for compensation – how do you put a price on someone’s life?

“However, I received a lot of support and when we won it was a relief, as it means that my little girl will be financially secure for the future.

“It was horrendous going through the process, but at least it gave some recognition for his life being lost. He was amazingly popular and hundreds of people attended the funeral, it was wonderful. The money will never bring David back, but at least I feel like we have some kind of future at last.”

Compensation reflected future career plans

Gill Owen, from Thompson’s Solicitors, said: “This compensation can never replace David, but we hope it will go some way to helping his family to be provided for in his absence.

“David was an extremely successful man who loved his family and was ambitious. Without a doubt he would have achieved his dream of becoming a successful deputy head and the level of compensation reflects this.”

Hundreds of people, including pupils and staff, from his school that was closed for the day in his honour, attended the funeral of Mr Kerslake.

He had been working on the school’s application to receive special science status, which was granted two years after his death.

The teacher, who cycled to work every day, had also been in the process of applying to become a deputy head, after completing a Masters in Education and Management, at Manchester Metropolitan University.