Crash driver, 84, had poor eyesight, court told

AN elderly driver who left a cyclist fighting for his life after crashing into him at a junction had poor eyesight which did not comply with driving standards, a court heard.

John Drake had his back broken in four places and was left with a brain injury, a fractured skull and a broken nose after he was hit by 84-year-old Ronald Finney’s Toyota Yaris in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, on Sunday, May 6.

He also had 30 other broken bones, including his cheek, and a tear in his right ear.

The 53-year-old, from Harwood, was on a life-support machine following the incident and is still undergoing regular physio treatment for his injuries.

Yesterday Bolton Magistrates Court, heard that Finney, of Tottington Road, Harwood, had pleaded guilty by post to driving a vehicle without due care and attention and driving a vehicle on a road with eyesight which did not comply with requirements. He was not present in court.

The court heard that police completed an eyesight test which revealed that Finney could only see to a distance of 18.6 meters, while the legal driving standard is 20.5 meters.

Nicola Ormerod, prosecuting, said a witness watched as Finney turned right from Chapeltown Road and crashed into Mr Drake as he cycled along Darwen Road.

She said: “The cyclist was riding along the road through the junction. He started to look shocked and surprised as the car was coming straight in his path.

“It caused the cyclist to clip his bike and he has gone over his handle bars into the air and landed on the floor.

“He was described by the police as still recovering from fairly serious injuries.”

Ms Ormerod said police had questioned Finney about the incident but were concerned about his level of understanding. The court was told that Finney had voluntarily surrendered his driving licence to the DVLA.

Ms Ormerod said she had no details of Mr Drake’s injuries other than police said they were serious and said she had not been provided with a victim impact statement.

Magistrates decided not to award compensation to Finney’s victim.

Finney was ordered to pay a £95 fine, £35 costs and a £10 victim surcharge.

Finney was also given six penalty points on his driving licence.

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