Mobility scooter man died in Leeds road ‘tragedy’

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A PENSIONER died after he was knocked off his mobility scooter while crossing a road in central Leeds, a court heard.

Motorist Ngoni Chiguma, who struck 77-year-old Ronald Drye was given a community order at Leeds Crown Court after a judge described what happened as a “tragic accident.”

Jonathan Sharp prosecuting said Mr Drye had crossed one side of York Street at a light controlled crossing but then continued on to the other side when the lights were no longer in his favour.

Chiguma, 56, was waiting at the lights and immediately moved off when they turned green, failing to see Mr Drye. He collided with him, forcing the scooter sideways and knocking him on to the ground.

Mr Sharp said the driver in the car beside Mr Chiguma described him as moving off quickly.

Tests showed the A-pillar on the Kia Sportage he was driving obscured the point at which Mr Drye would have started his manoeuvre and the pensioner lower than a pedestrian.

Mr Sharp said: “These factors might have been reasons for his not seeing him, but it is not an excuse since drivers are expected to be aware of any blind spots and to carry out any necessary or additional observations.”

Mr Drye suffered a head injury, never regained consciousness and died the following day. Chiguma was heard to say “it just happened so fast.”

David Bradshaw representing him said he was religious man who wanted to apologise and express his remorse to Mr Drye’s family.

Chiguma of Oakwood Lane, Leeds admitted causing Mr Drye’s death by careless driving on May 13 last year and was given a 12 month community order with supervision and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Judge Christopher Batty said: “This was a tragic accident.”

Mr Drye was married to his wife Brenda for 55 years and she described in a statement the “emptiness” in the hearts of his family since his death. “I feel that part of me has gone forever.”