Six-point penalty for driver who reversed into gran carrying child in Newton Poppleford

Cars lining School Lane in Newton Poppleford

Cars lining School Lane in Newton Poppleford - Credit: Archant

Motorist admits driving without due care and attention following incident which left 61-year-old with serious head injuries

A driver who reversed into a pedestrian during the school run in Newton Poppleford, causing her serious head injuries, has received six points on her licence.

Appearing before magistrates on Tuesday, Haidee Crisp, 39, of Burrow, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

The court heard that she had dropped off her child at the primary school just before 9am on June 7 and was driving down the narrow School Lane when she encountered oncoming traffic and had to reverse.

Crisp looked in her mirrors, but failed to check her blind spots and struck a 61-year-old woman, a Mrs Hayes, who was carrying a toddler and fell to the ground, magistrates were told.

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Mother-of-four Crisp, who had another child in her Vauxhall Zafira, stopped immediately after she heard the impact.

Mrs Hayes suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital before being transferred to Derriford Hospital for surgery to her brain and skull.

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The court heard heard she suffered symptoms similar to a stroke and has since had to relearn how to eat, speak and walk. Her mobility is now good, but she gets nervous about crossing the road. She continues to visit a speech and language therapist.

Her three-year-old granddaughter sustained only a minor bump to the head and remembers little of the incident.

In a statement, Mrs Hayes said: “I’ve lost three months of my life, but luckily I am still here.

“I know the driver didn’t mean to do this. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Her injuries mean she is no longer able to drive, her fitness has suffered and her husband has had to cut his work hours to help care for their grandchildren, the court heard.

Prosecutor Lindsey Baker said School Lane had been busy with vehicles and vulnerable road users of all ages.

Police had recreated the incident and concluded that Crisp would have seen Mrs Hayes ‘had she physically turned her head to look’. Crisp told the court: “I just want to say I’m sorry. Not a day goes by I don’t think about it.”

Magistrates said the incident was aggravated by the busy school run, the impact on Mrs Hayes and her family, and the fact Crisp had her own child in the car.

She received six points on her licence and was fined £293 and ordered to pay costs of £140.

Magistrates did not order her to pay compensation as this is being dealt with through her insurance.

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