Detention for Student who Knocked Down and Killed Grandmother
A motorist who sustained whiplash when her vehicle left the road and mounted a pavement before crushing a pedestrian to death and has been sentenced to 30 months detention in a Young Offenders’ Institute.
In February 2010, 20-year-old Keisha Wall was travelling home from a shopping trip with her mother when the accident occurred. According to reports, Ms Wall had been using her mobile phone at the time of the incident, which came just months after the young woman had passed her driving test.
With her driving instructor mother sat in the passenger seat beside her, Ms Wall, of Reading, is reported to have suddenly and inexplicably veered off the road, hitting 63-year-old Christine Lyon and pinning her against a wall. Sadly, Mrs Lyon, of Maidenhead, died at the scene as a result of massive internal injuries.
Addressing the defendant at Reading Crown Court, Judge Stephen John, said: “You were driving in normal traffic with your mother, an experienced professional driving instructor, as your passenger. Before you began your journey you had been exchanging text messages with your boyfriend and a girlfriend.
“For no reason apparent to other road users, your car suddenly veered off the road at an acute angle, mounted the kerb, crossed the pavement and pinned the unfortunate Mrs Lyon up against the wall. It was within a period of less than a minute before the collision you had received a text message on your mobile phone. I am satisfied that you opened that message and either read or attempted to read it.
“By that action, you lost concentration, left the road and caused the lady’s death. The jury must have rejected your evidence that your mother had inexplicably grabbed the wheel and herself caused the accident. Your mother was not called to support your evidence. I think it very likely that she did indeed grab the wheel in the moment you left the road in a vain attempt to avoid the catastrophe occurring but she did not cause the car to mount the pavement.”
Personal injury lawyers claims can be brought against motorists who ignore their legal duty of care to other road users by driving negligently and causing injury claims or death. There can be no doubt that using a mobile phone whilst in control of a motor vehicle is utterly dangerous and negligent. In the present case, such an act cost one woman her life and caused another to lose her freedom for a period of two-and-a-half years.