A GRIEVING widow has described the moment she was pulled from a car after a crash that killed her husband.

The van driver who caused the smash dragged Ann Foster, who suffered eight broken ribs in the incident on the St Helens Linkway on July 19, from the passenger seat of the Ford Ka after his Ford Transit van smashed into the back of the car.

Her husband Trevor was knocked unconscious, breaking his back in three places.

He died 12 days later after he successfully underwent spinal surgery before he contracted an infection.

Mrs Foster, from Breightmet, said she has been left “heartbroken” and that her great-grandchildren have been asking “where grandad is”.

Neil Lyon, aged 39, of Central Drive, Haydock, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was given a 12-month driving ban and a 200-hour community order with £100 costs on April 16.

Mrs Foster said she felt “insulted” by the sentence but that she did not want Lyon, who she said was a “nice person”, to be jailed.

The couple had been married for 34 years, with 63-year-old Trevor bringing up his wife’s four children, 11 grandchildren and six-great-grandchildren as his own.

Mrs Foster, aged 70, said: “He was knocked unconscious in the accident, I don’t think he even would have had time to register that it had happened.

“The van must have hit my husband’s side of the car and that’s why he was left badly hurt.

“They had to cut him out of the car and his back was broken in three places. The driver of the van lifted me out. He was a very nice person.”

The widow said she could forgive Lyon — but that his sentence was not strict enough.

She added: “I would have thought he would have got more than a 12-month ban. I feel insulted.

“I’ve been told he’s had psychological therapy. Well, what about me? Where’s my therapy?

“I did not want him to get a custodial sentence Being a driver myself, I know that these accidents can happen.

“He did not set out that day to do this and I have prayed for him and his family that they can move on from this.”

Mr Foster was a coach driver for David Ogden Holidays, having previously worked on Bolton’s bus routes and as a bus driver for Bolton School.

Mrs Foster said: “He will be sorely missed, not just by me and the family but by a lot of people in the North West who used to go on the tours.

“I have had such a lot of comfort from these people. I could not have wished for anybody better and his grandchildren thought the world of him.”