Taxi driver sentenced over crash

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A TAXI DRIVER, who mounted the pavement and hit a family holidaying in the area last summer, has been given a suspended prison sentence by magistrates at Skegness.

Colin Simpson, 61, of Wainfleet Road, admitted dangerous driving on July 29 at Ingoldmells and was appearing for sentence.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said Simpson mounted the pavement at 11.30pm and ran into the Harman family from Springwell in Gateshead, who were returning along Roman Bank to their holiday caravan.

They were a couple, their 11 year old son and Mrs Harman’s mother, and all were injured, with all the adults receiving broken legs and other injuries, and all had to have metal plates inserted.

One of the women was seen to be carried for 20 yards on the bonnet of the taxi before falling into the road.

Only 11 year old Mason escaped serious injury, escaping with bruises and grazes.

Witnesses said the taxi slowly drifted off the road and mounted the high kerb at a bus stop, causing sparks to come from the exhaust as it scraped along.

Simpson was arrested at the scene but was unable to provide any explanation as to how his car ended up on the pavement and told officers it must have been a ‘slight lapse of concentration.’

In mitigation, Mr Tim Miller said Simpson had an exemplary driving record and had been a taxi driver for four and a half years.

There were only two possible explanations, he said, that either Simpson had fallen asleep or he had momentarily blacked out.

There was no alcohol or drugs in his system and he had continued to drive a taxi since, with no problems, he said.

The magistrates said it was an unexplained incident but which had had devastating consequences for the victims.

Simpson was sentenced to a 20 week custodial sentence suspended for a year and was disqualified from driving for two years, after which he will have to take an extended driving test.

He was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work for the community and pay £85 in prosecution costs.