Man jailed for 10 months for fatal road crash in Great Finborough

A 73-year-old man has been jailed following a fatal road traffic collision in Great Finborough which occurred over two years ago.

The incident occurred at around 2.35pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, on the B1115, about a mile and a half south of the village at the Water Run, where a Ranger Rover Sport was involved in a head-on collision with a Vauxhall Astra.

Jeanette (Jean) Harrison, aged 77, of Clay Hills, Pebmarsh, in Essex, and who was a front seat passenger in the Astra sadly died at the scene. Her husband, who was driving the Astra sustained a fractured sternum, fractured rib and blurred vision in his right eye.

Richard Williams, of Bury Road, Hitcham, who was driving the Range Rover, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday, February 27, where he was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for two years and 11 months.

He had pleaded guilty to the offence of causing death by careless driving the previous day (February 26), at the beginning of what was due to be a trial for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving, a charged he denied.

A collision investigation concluded that the Range Rover was on the wrong side of the road and was responsible for the collision.

Williams had claimed that he swerved into the path of the Vauxhall Astra to avoid an animal, but witness and technical evidence proved that it was actually due to him attempting to overtake two other vehicles on the approach to a left-hand bend.

Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “This was a completely avoidable collision which had devastating consequences resulting in the death of Jean Harrison.

“Richard Williams attempted to perform a manoeuvre which was completely unsuited to the section of road he was travelling on, with a bend approaching and on the crest of a hill.

“In accepting responsibility for this collision by pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving, he has at least spared Mrs Harrison’s family the pain of a trial. He will now spend a number of months in prison to reflect on his actions that day, which will no doubt haunt him for the rest of his life.

“This case highlights that it is not just the ‘fatal four’ factors that can kill people on our roads, but that poor decision making and driver errors can be just as lethal. That is why it is important to remain focused on the road at all times and only attempt to perform overtakes or other manoeuvres if you have a clear line of sight and it is entirely safe to do so.”

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