Teacher killed in crash on country road

Wendy Hartley with her granddaughter Amy.
Wendy Hartley with her granddaughter Amy.

A RETIRED teacher was killed and her husband seriously injured when their car was hit side-on along a Wyre country road, a court heard.

However, a judge ruled there was no evidence the other driver caused the crash, even though he had no insurance, no MoT and his Suzuki jeep was not taxed.

The driver admitted causing death by driving without insurance.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, told the jeep driver 58-year old Roy Holden: “I do not think you caused the collision which has had such tragic consequences.

“But you were criminally culpable by being on the road.

“You should have not been there and had you not been there there would have been no crime.

“There are very few authorities on this sort of matter – just one.”

Holden, of Argyle Drive, Poulton, was given a 20-week jail term suspended for a year. He was also made the subject of a 10-week curfew, given 12 months’ supervision and banned from the road for a year.

The court heard retired teacher Wendy Hartley, 63, and her husband William, from Cabus near Garstang, had been driving along the A586 near a farm entrance.

The weather was freezing and their car skidded on mud on the road into oncoming traffic. Holden was driving in the opposite direction and hit the Hartley’s car with a significant impact, the court was told.

Mrs Hartley died from massive injuries in Royal Preston Hospital and her husband had to remain in hospital for a month.

The hearing was told Holden believed it was legal to drive his vehicle because he was going to have an MoT that day.

Robert Castle, defending, added: “The defence is in no way understates the seriousness of what has taken place.

“My client expresses his deep and heartfelt sorrow and realises the job the police and court has to do.

“In fact he has had considerable support from the investigating officer involved.”