Driver of car which crashed into shops found guilty of dangerous driving

24/07/2014

A 65-year-old motorist who crashed his vehicle into a coffee shop in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre has today been found guilty of dangerous driving.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how on 23 April 2012 Alan Marks was the driver of a VW Touran SUV, and from eye witness accounts, he approached a roundabout on Bridge Street in the centre of town at high speed. This resulted in the vehicle mounting the pavement and eventually crashing into two shops.

The emergency services quickly arrived at the scene and Marks was questioned about the incident. He claimed that there was a mechanical fault with the vehicle which resulted in the accelerator pedal getting jammed and consequently him losing control of the vehicle.

The defendant also admitted to the police that due to his disability, the vehicle had been specially adapted in order for him to use it, however, on the day of the collision, he was not using the adaptation.

Following a detailed police investigation and reports from expert witnesses, Marks was charged with dangerous driving.

John Bristow, Acting Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: 

"The driving of Alan Marks that day was clearly below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

"Due to the defendant's disability, his vehicle had been specially adapted in order for him to use it, however, by his own admission he was not using the adaptation.

"Aware of this, Marks still drove his car into the town centre which would have been full of shoppers, young children and visitors.

"As he approached a traffic island, he lost control of the vehicle which resulted in him driving into a pedestrianised zone, narrowly missing shoppers and ploughing into two shop fronts. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.

"We hope that this prosecution reminds anyone who have had their cars specially adapted in order for them to use it due to a disability to always use the adaptations, as otherwise you are not only putting yourself in danger but other road users too."