Pensioner’s road accident claims ‘untrue’

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’s claims that her car mowed down a pedestrian because it was forced on to the pavement by another vehicle were totally untrue, a court was told.

Anne Cole, 69, told police she had been side-swiped on a roundabout, pushing her on to the footpath where Hazel I’Anson was walking her dog.

But eyewitnesses and accident investigators all denied there had been any collision before the Toyota courtesy car mounted the kerb and killed the 51-year-old.

Cole, of Downham Road, Leyland denies causing death by careless driving. Preston Crown Court heard she could have been suffering a diabetic episode when she failed to give way to a 32-tonne wagon on the roundabout and then careered off the road.

Lancashire Constabulary senior collision investigator PC Richard Roberts said the driver had claimed in an interview with police later that another vehicle had crashed into the right-hand side of her car and knocked her across on to the pavement.

A thorough examination of the Toyota did not show any evidence it had been hit on the side. The wagon, which had to brake hard as Cole drove in front of it, had no damage either. And none of four independent witnesses to the accident saw any contact.

Mrs I’Anson, who was out walking her dog on a February afternoon, was knocked high into the air and suffered catastrophic head injuries.

PC Roberts said that when Cole was interviewed about 10 weeks after the crash she admitted she was “horrified” when she realised she had killed someone. “I would never hurt anybody,” she said. “I don’t know what to say. It has just destroyed me.”

The collision happened as Cole was on her way to a hospital appointment at Chorley. Witnesses said she had a near-miss on another mini-roundabout just moments earlier. The driver she almost crashed into followed her and saw the accident further down the road.

In the interview with police Cole said she had slowed down coming up to the second roundabout “as I generally do” and “the next memory I have is being hit, a sense of being moved in one direction. I wasn’t going of my own volition.

“I don’t know what happened. All I can say is that it doesn’t sound like my driving.”

(Proceeding)