A MOTHER who crashed into a car – killing a pensioner – after she drove through a red light has been jailed.
Danielle Marriott broke down in tears as she was sent to jail following the crash at the junction of Progress Way with Midgeland Road in Marton, in which 73-year-old Alan Weightman died.
Marriott’s defence barrister told Preston Crown Court she felt overwhelming guilt and had said she wished she had died, rather than Mr Weightman.
The 27-year-old mum, of Bazley Road, Ansdell, admitted her driving had been careless but had denied a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
But a jury found her guilty of dangerous driving and she was yesterday jailed for 18 months.
The court heard Marriott, who was driving a Seat Altea, had dropped her young son off at nursery and was on her way to a supermarket when she drove through a red light and crashed into Mr Weightman’s Rover on October 21, 2010.
Police, air ambulance and firefighters were called the scene.
After the collision Marriott got out of her car and said: “It’s my fault. I think I jumped a red light. I don’t know what I was thinking”.
Mr Weightman was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital suffering from serious injuries. He died a week after the crash.
His wife, Glenda, who is still unable to recall the accident, suffered serious injuries including an injury to her brain.
Marriott was also injured in the crash and ended up in a state of extreme shock.
An accident investigation found the traffic light would have been red for seven to nine seconds.
The court also heard two other motorists saw Marriott go through the red light without slowing down or braking.
Marriott’s barrister, Christopher Daw, told the court she admitted she had failed to observe the red light.
He said her lack of concentration was the result of medically diagnosed post natal depression.
She was also suffering from extreme sleep deprivation.
Judge Anthony Russell said Marriott’s eyes had been open, but her mind not processing what she saw.
He said: “I have come to the conclusion the case is so serious only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”
Marriott, who had no previous convictions, was banned from driving for four years and must take an extended re-test before getting back behind the wheel in future.