Motorist who caused death of Essex woman in head-on crash is jailed for 10 months

The scene of the crash in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The scene of the crash in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A 73-year-old motorist who caused the death of an Essex great grandmother in a head on collision while overtaking on the wrong side of the road has been jailed for 10 months.

Jean Harrison

Jean Harrison - Credit: Archant

Richard Williams was behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport when he ploughed into an oncoming Vauxhall Astra in which 77-year-old Jeanette Harrison was a front seat passenger, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Following the collision the emergency services went to the scene but Mrs Harrison, of Clay Hills, Pebmarsh, Essex, died from her injuries.

Williams, of Bury Road, Hitcham, admitted causing death by careless driving on the B1115, near Great Finborough, at 2.35pm on January 26, 2016.

Sentencing Williams, Judge Martyn Levett described his decision to pull out to overtake as “a risky and inappropriate manoeuvre”.


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He banned Williams from driving for 35 months.

Following yesterday’s hearing Mrs Harrison’s family said: “It has been a long two years since Jean, our beloved and cherished wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother was taken from us in such a sudden and pointless way. She was was a very special person, warm, kind and caring and she positively touched the lives of all who knew her.

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“We can only hope that this case will send a message to all drivers to take responsibility for their actions on our roads.”

The court heard that Williams was travelling northbound when he began to overtake a Nissan Juke and a school minibus just beyond the brow of a hill on a left-hand bend and collided head-on with the Astra driven by Mrs Harrison’s husband.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said Mr and Mrs Harrison were returning home from a visit to their daughter in Great Finborough, when the collision occurred. He said Mr Harrison described “all hell breaking loose” as the Range Rover appeared in the road in front of him immediately before the collision.

Richard Wood for Williams said although his client initially claimed a deer caused him to swerve, he had always accepted he drove carelessly and blamed no one but himself. Mr Wood described what happened as “a momentary but tragic aberration in the thought process of an otherwise careful, catering and considerate human being.”

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