Bury St Edmunds: Driver pleads guilty to causing death of Hannah Seeley in crash

Hannah Seeley with niece Laila

Hannah Seeley with niece Laila - Credit: Seeley Family Pictures

A 22-YEAR-OLD man has admitted causing the death of a young midwife from Stanton through careless/inconsiderate driving.

Luke Anderson, of Hopton Road, Barningham, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court today charged with causing the death of Hannah Seeley by driving a VW golf on the A143 at Pakenham without due care and attention on April 22 last year.

Miss Seeley, 23, who worked at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, had been due to marry Mark Wade in September last year.

Outlining the “tragic case,” Ian Devine, prosecuting, said she had left her shift at about 9pm and contacted her partner by phone to say she was leaving and was on her way home.

She then drove from the hospital along the A143 through Great Barton and onwards towards home.

Mr Devine said that same evening Mr Anderson - who was aged 21 at the time - left his home in Barningham in order to drive to Great Barton to collect his partner and presumably drive home.

Speaking of a left-hand bend in the road, which has the national speed limit of 60mph for cars, he said: “Mr Anderson came around that bend. He has then drifted or moved across onto the opposite carriageway and collided with the vehicle driven by Miss Seeley.”

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He added: “There was, I fear, a tremendous impact between the two vehicles to the extent Miss Seeley’s vehicle was forced off the road and ended up in an adjoining field.”

The engine from Anderson’s car was completely taken from the vehicle and there was “significant” damage to Miss Seeley’s vehicle as well, Mr Devine said.

“Sadly, Miss Seeley suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene at about ten to ten that evening,” he said.

Mr Devine said there was no alcohol in Anderson’s system and there was no apparent mechanical defect to the vehicle.

The speedometer was fixed at 80mph, but a witness following Miss Seeley’s vehicle believed Anderson’s car had been travelling at between 60 to 70mph: both should be treated with caution Mr Devine said.

He said the road could be described as “damp” or “greasy” that evening.

David Stewart, mitigating, said: “For some reason control was lost.”

Anderson did not have to collect his fiancée from the garage in Great Barton until 10pm and the accident happened at about 9.22pm.

He said Anderson had no previous convictions, he had never been arrested before and had had a clean driving licence.

“He could remember very little of the incident at the roadside when police spoke to him and he gave an interview some months later - as full and frank account as he could remember.”

The court heard Anderson suffered serious leg injuries in the crash for which he is still going to hospital for treatment.

The case has been adjourned until May 2 while a pre-sentence report is prepared.

Anderson was given an interim driving disqualification and has been released on conditional bail.

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