Fatal crash was caused by driver’s ‘diabetic episode’

The scene of the accident in February last year on the roundabout of Heald House Road, Church Road and Bent Lane, Leyland

The scene of the accident in February last year on the roundabout of Heald House Road, Church Road and Bent Lane, Leyland

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A pensioner whose car mounted the pavement and killed a woman out walking her dog could have been suffering a diabetic episode at the time, a court heard.

Anne Cole, 69, denied causing the death of pedestrian Hazel I’Anson by careless driving, claiming the sudden onset of hypoglycemia had left her incapable of controlling her vehicle as she approached a mini-roundabout in Leyland.

Preston Crown Court was told Cole’s car failed to give way to a tipper truck on her right and then accelerated, swerving up on to the pavement and knocking Mrs I’Anson high into the air.

A witness said the 51-year-old crashed down on to the windscreen before being thrown face first into a wall.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said Cole, of Downham Road, Leyland, was involved in a “near-miss” at another mini-roundabout moments earlier when she also failed to give way.

“The driver in that incident, who was forced to anchor on, said she was just staring straight ahead and did not make any eye contact.

“It was like the roundabout wasn’t there,” said Sean Smith in a statement to the court.

At the second roundabout, at the junction of Bent Lane and Church Road, the tipper truck driver also had to brake suddenly as Cole drove across in front of him.

Mr Smith, who had his wife and daughter in the car with him, saw the vehicle swerve to the left and up on to the pavement where Mrs I’Anson had no chance to get out of the way.

“We got out of the car and ran over,” he said.“Mrs I’Anson was breathing, but only shallow.

“Another man came along and started CPR.”

Mr Grout-Smith told the jury: “Mrs Cole’s defence is that she suffers from diabetes and she was having a hypoglycemic episode at the time of the accident.

“She was totally incapable due to her lack of blood sugar.

The trial continues.