Driver admits causing death of pensioner due to careless driving

10/04/2014

A motorist has pleaded guilty today at Warwick Crown Court of causing the death by careless driving of an 86-year-old fellow motorist and has been sentenced to six months and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

On 5 March 2012, Shelbie Ellis, aged 23, was driving to work in her Vauxhall Corsa and heading to Coventry along New Road in Bedworth.  Along the same road but in the opposite direction, Eugene Collins was driving to his local rugby club were he did some volunteer work.

Around 8am, near Ash Green, the defendant's car collided with the victim's Daewoo Matiz. A witness who was driving behind Mr Collins' car, immediately called the emergency services and the victim was transferred to hospital. On 17 April 2012, the victim died as a result of the injuries which were caused by the crash.

The defendant initially told the police that Mr Collins caused the fatal crash claiming he had swerved into her. However, from eyewitness evidence as well as a detailed police investigation, it was established that the victim had been driving below the speed limit and was within his road markings on his side of the road where he should have been.

It was Ellis' careless driving as they approached a blind bend which resulted in the fatal car crash.

Andy Gee, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"This case highlights the consequences when a motorist has a momentary lapse of concentration while they are in charge of a moving vehicle. Such lapses can and often do lead to fatal consequences as can be seen in this case which has a devastating effect on all those concerned.

"There are a multitude of potential hazards which face a driver every time he or she gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle on a public road and consequently drivers must always maintain a high degree of concentration and remain vigilant. If a driver allows themself to become distracted and fails to pay attention to the road ahead of them, then not only are they putting themselves in danger, but other road users too.

"By her guilty plea today to causing death by careless driving Shelbie Ellis has accepted her responsibility for the collision and its tragic consequences.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Mr Collins."