Driver cleared over retail park death

A man has been cleared of causing the death of a great-grandmother by driving carelessly in a collision at a Telford retail park.

Janet Lane, 73, died when she was hit by a Volkswagon Transporter van, driven by Andrew Richards.

During his trial Mr Richards, 55, of Orchard Close, Cressage, told a jury the incident still haunts him and he feels responsible every day.

He had denied causing the death of Janet Lane by careless driving at Wrekin Retail Park in Telford. He said his view was obstructed by the ‘A-pillar’ in his Volkswagen Transporter van.

Mrs Lane, a great-grandmother from Woodhouse Crescent, Trench, Telford, died at the scene.

She had been crossing the road at the retail park when she was struck on November 22, 2016.

The prosecution had claimed that while the ‘A pillar’ between the windscreen and driver side mirror could have reduced the view that the driver had, the blind spot could easily be eliminated through a movement of the driver’s head.


Members of the jury were also shown a police reconstruction of the incident.


Mr Richards gave evidence during the trial.

He said that the effect of the incident on him had been profound.

He told the jury: "I feel guilty every day, I feel totally responsible every day.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don’t, and there are days when I would happily exchange places with Mrs Lane.

"In the days after the event there were sleepless nights, and waking hours which I spent trying to understand why it had happened. I was driving to the best of my ability and I wasn’t being careless.”

In police interviews Richards said that when he felt the sensation of his vehicle going over something he thought it was a speed bump. He previously described himself as a competent driver with more than 30 years experience.

Date: 14 April 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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