Mum’s anguish over fatal crash

The scene of the crash on Progress Way.
The scene of the crash on Progress Way.
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A MOTHER who drove through a red light and crashed into another car – killing the driver – told a court she “cannot understand” how it happened.

Danielle Marriott did not brake as she drove through the traffic lights on Progress Way, Blackpool, before colliding with Alan Weightman’s Rover.

The 73-year-old died a week later.

At Preston Crown Court yesterday, Marriott, of Bazley Road, Ansdell, said she did not remember the lights being on red in the build-up to the crash, and added: “I feel my body and my eyes were on the road but my mind just wasn’t.”

The 27-year-old admits causing Mr Weightman’s death by careless driving following the crash in October 2010, but denies her driving was dangerous.

However, prosecutor Jeremy Groutsmith said Marriott had had more than just a lapse of concentration, with police suggesting the lights – at the junction with Midgeland Road – had been on red for up to nine seconds before impact.

Addressing the jury, he said: “The prosecution say quite simply this is not a momentary lapse in terms of driving, this is really quite a long period of time in driving terms to be not looking where you are going and what you are doing for whatever reason, and on a road such as this my submission to you is that constitutes dangerous driving.”

The court heard how on the day of the crash Marriott, who was driving a Seat Altea, had dropped her young son off at nursery in St Annes before heading on to Squires Gate Lane and Progress Way with the intention of going to Tesco.

She said she had been “quite stressed” and feeling depressed and not herself since the birth of her son. She added she had been “quite tired” a lot of the time.

However, she told the court on the day of the crash she had not felt unusually tired and had not been using her mobile phone on the journey.

Marriott said: “I’ve been trying to battle with this myself, I just can’t understand how I could have done something like that.

“I almost wish there was a reason for it and then I could understand it.”

People who witnessed the crash – which also injured Mr Weightman’s wife – said Marriott had been travelling at the 40mph speed limit but did not brake as she went through the junction.

In a statement read by Mr Groutsmith, eyewitness Rebecca Kyle said: “The driver of the grey vehicle (Marriott) was entirely at fault.

“She has blatantly driven through the lights on red.

“It was not even as if she slowed down at the last minute, it just seems she has not seen the red light.”