THE family of a Scot who was a caddie to some of the world’s biggest golf stars have welcomed the jail sentence given to a drunk driver who knocked down and killed him in the US.
Neil Fyfe, 28, was fulfilling a dream by caddying for the likes of Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Luke Donald when he was mown down last May.
Aberdeen-born Mr Fyfe was cycling home from his first day at Sebonack Golf Club at Southampton on Long Island in New York state when he was hit by a 4x4.
The driver Jesse Steudte, a 22-year-old student, admitted manslaughter for recklessly causing Mr Fyfe’s death. He also admitted further charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
Steudte has now been jailed for a minimum of four years after a hearing at Suffolk County Court. He could serve up to 12 years depending on his behaviour in prison.
Mr Fyfe’s family said they had been left facing a “life sentence” but were glad justice had been done.
Family members travelled to the court for the sentencing and Mr Fyfe’s fiancee Jennifer Mouncey, 26, had earlier addressed the judge on the impact of his death.
A statement issued on behalf of his family said: “On 2 May, 2014, our lives changed forever when we received the devastating news that Neil had been killed.
“Neil was a loving son, brother, nephew, cousin, partner and friend to many and is sorely missed by all, as was proved by the 400 plus people who attended his funeral.
“As a family, we have to get on with our lives without him; on the outside we can smile, laugh and seem normal but inside, we are broken.
“Unless you have been in this situation, you can never understand the heartache.
“Neil loved America, the people, their positivity to life and the lifestyle there. He had a bright future in the world of golf caddying and he mixed easily with some of the top stars of the game and relished the challenges presented to him. In Neil’s own words, he was ‘living the dream’.
“Our thanks go to all the golf clubs Neil worked at, the members for their true kindness to us and all the caddies Neil worked with and was friends with.
“We also thank all of Neil’s friends in Aberdeen who have continued to support us through the hardest of times. He’d be very proud of you all.
“Jesse received a minimum of four years and we are happy that Neil has received justice for his untimely death. The massive loss and impact upon our lives has been devastating and we will forever live a life sentence without Neil.”
The court heard Steudte drove through a stop light at a crossroads while driving a 1990 Jeep when he struck Mr Fyfe, who was cycling across a pedestrian crossing.
Witnesses tried to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived.
He was transferred to Southampton Hospital by Southampton Volunteer Ambulance service but died shortly after arrival.
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