Grandmother trapped under car when driver pressed accelerator instead of brake in Leeds crash

A grandmother was trapped under a car after a being knocked down by a pensioner who crashed her car by pressing the accelerator instead of the brake.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 6:00 am

Members of the public had to lift a Toyota Yaris off the stricken victim during the incident in Armley, Leeds.

A court heard how 81-year-old Christine Blayney lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the side of the Malt Shovel pub, on Branch Road.

The car "ricocheted" off the building before hitting the pedestrian.

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Crash scene: Malt Shovel pub, Branch Road, Armley.

Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the incident happened just before 1.45pm on December 21, 2018.

Blayney was driving home from dropping off Christmas cards at a day centre when she turned right onto Branch Road.

Mr Nassiri said the one-way road slopes downhill.

Blayney lost control after putting her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake.

The car struck the pub, narrowly missed hitting a male pedestrian and went over the toes of a female pedestrian.

The car then collided with the pensioner, who had a shopping basket on wheels.

She was thrown onto the bonnet and the car continued for a few metres before colliding with a parked BMW.

The Yaris continued forward for a further two metres and came to a stop in the centre of the road.

The victim was thrown from the bonnet.

The front wheels of the Toyota rolled over her legs and stopped on top of them.

Mr Nassiri said: "Within seconds, members of public opened the Toyota’s door, pulled its hand brake then lifted the Toyota off [the victim's] legs."

She suffered cuts to her head and left elbow, a bleed on the brain, four rib fractures, a fracture to the left knee and bruises to her body.

A police officer attended the scene and found the defendant still in the driver's seat.

Blayney was interviewed by police about the incident and said she had gaps in her memory due to shock.

She said she was startled by an oncoming car changing its signal then she swerved to avoid a pedestrian.

Blayney said she tried to brake but the car 'shot off'.

Blayney, of Moseley Wood Walk, Cookridge, Leeds, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

She has no previous convictions.

The grandmother wept in the dock during the sentencing hearing.

In a statement, the victim said she did not wish for Blayney to be punished but hoped she would now stop driving.

Probation officer Gohar Khan said Blayney was sorry for what she had done and was terrified of going to prison.

Simon Alexander, mitigating, said: "She will never drive again."

Blayney was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and disqualified from driving for three years.

Judge Simon Batiste said: "Realistically your driving days are done."

After the hearing, the victim said she wanted to thank the members of the public who came to her rescue.