Learner driver jailed after mistake left young boy with life-changing head injuries in Essex

The accident happened in Gabriel Street, Saffron Walden Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The accident happened in Gabriel Street, Saffron Walden Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Google Maps

A woman who left young boy with life changing head injuries after a collision in Saffron Walden has been sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Learner driver Eleanor Cass, 26 and from Hertford, was being supervised while driving a silver Renault Megane Scenic in Gabriel Street in Saffron when the incident took place.

At around 5pm on March 15, 2017, Cass stopped at a T-junction behind another car and when that vehicle cleared the road she pulled away.

At the same time the victim, a six-year-old boy, started to cross the road.

Rather than pressing her brake pedal, Cass reacted by pressing down the accelerator and collided first with the victim and then a house.


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The boy was taken to hospital via helicopter in a critical condition and has been left with life-changing head injuries.

Cass and the two passengers in the car at the time were interviewed voluntarily following the incident.

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After further investigation Cass was summoned to Colchester Magistrates’ Court on January 10 2018 where she was charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

She admitted the charge at Chelmsford Crown Court on April 18 and was jailed on May 23.

She was also disqualified from driving for two years.

Investigating officer Inspector Chris Higgins, from the Stanway Roads Policing Team, said: “This is a tragic case involving a learner driver who made a mistake that ended in catastrophe.

“However the law is clear.

“All drivers, regardless of skill and experience have the same level of responsibility to control their vehicles to a required standard to keep other road users and people in within our communities safe.

“The actions of Eleanor Cass resulted in a young life being dramatically changed forever and the sentence issued today reflects that fact.”

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