Schoolboy fined after Four Lane Ends smash

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales

A schoolboy driver who accelerated over a hump-backed bridge on a Ribble Valley country lane lost control of his car and collided with a grandma pushing a pram containing her 18 months old grandson.

Blackburn magistrates heard both victims were airlifted to hospital where the child was treated for facial cuts.

His grandma suffered multiple fractures and facial lacerations and a bleed on the brain. She has undergone several operations and Enza Geldard, prosecuting, said it was not anticipated she would walk for 12 months.

William Andrew Reed (18), of Newton Way, Hellifield, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention. He was fined £120 with £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge and banned for 12 months.

At 1pm on January 21st Reed was driving his Vauxhall Corsa along Pendleton Old Road during his lunch break from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. He had three of his school friends in the car with him and they were heading for the McDonalds at Barrow.

At the same time Jeanette Walker was walking along the lane with her grandson, Oscar, in his pram and her dog. She said the lane had no pavements but was extremely popular with walkers, horse riders, joggers and cyclists.

She said shortly before the incident a mechanic, Jack Stannard, was in a lay-by eating his lunch when he was alerted by what he described as a “hoosh” as a white car passed him at great speed.

“Despite his vehicle expertise he couldn’t recognise what make of car it was because of the speed it was travelling at,” said Mrs Geldard. “He thought to himself it would surely crash.”

Mrs Geldard said the car was fitted with a black box by the defendant’s insurance company and this had provided precise information for the investigating officers. It showed that shortly before the hump-back bridge the car was travelling at 40 mph but within two seconds of crossing the bridge it was doing 62 mph. The car hit some mud, causing the driver to lose control. It hit a dry stone wall and bounced off spinning into Mrs Walker.

She suffered fractures to her right leg and shin, a compound fracture of her shin, two fractured ribs, bad cuts and a bleed on the brain.

“She remains in hospital and still can’t walk,” said Mrs Geldard.

Simon Gretton, defending, said his client had passed his driving test in September and used the car to get to the grammar school where he is studying for his A levels.

“He accepts that he drove at an excessive speed which was wholly inappropriate in the circumstances,” said Mr Gretton. “He says there is not a single day that goes by that he doesn’t think about what happened and the injuries caused by his driving. This is a young man who is desperately sorry for what happened.”

Mr Gretton said that since the incident Reed had taken further driving lessons, had completed the Pass Plus and hoped to take an advanced driver course.