Lowestoft woman believed to have been sending and receiving text messages when she caused the death of a grandfather on the A12
PUBLISHED: 12:14 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 16 May 2014
A Lowestoft woman has been disqualified from driving for two years and given a community order after being found guilty of causing the death by careless driving of a 74 year old man who crossing the A12 with his family.
Samantha Pitcher, 28, from Maidstone Road, had been found guilty in March, following a trial at Ipswich crown court and appeared in court today for her sentencing.
The court had heard that on the evening of February 18 2013, Pitcher had been driving her Renault Megane car along Yarmouth Road by the Foxburrow Beefeater Grill in Lowestoft just before 9pm when she collided with two pedestrians who had been crossing the road.
David Wright, 74 from Gainsborough Drive, Lowestoft had been crossing the road with his wife, behind their son and two grandchildren after having a meal at the Foxburrow.
Mr Wright suffered fatal injuries as a result of the collision and was later pronounced deceased at the James Paget University Hospital.
Mrs Wright sustained serious, life changing injuries and received treatment at the James Paget Hospital where she remained for three months.
During the trial Samantha Pitcher denied the offence of causing death by careless driving which she had been charged with, but the court heard that she had sent and received text messages on her mobile phone shortly before the collision.
She was sentenced today with to an 18 month community order, ordered to carry out 240 hours unpaid work and was disqualified her from driving for 2 years.
Speaking after sentencing Sgt Bob Patterson from Suffolk Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “This was a tragic incident witnessed by Mr and Mrs Wright’s son and grandchildren.
“Throughout the year we campaign and enforce against what we refer to as the ‘fatal four’, speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving. These four are considered responsible for many fatal collisions.
“In this case we were able to provide evidence that Samantha Pitcher had received a text on her mobile phone around the time of the collision.
“Without providing any explanation as to why she collided with Mr and Mrs Wright, it is possible she may have been distracted and now has to live with these consequences.
“Hopefully today’s sentencing will make others think again about the dangers of being potentially distracted by a mobile phone while driving.”