Widow's prayers for driver who killed her husband

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

First published in Crime

A WIDOW says she is praying for the driver who caused the death of her husband in a car crash.

Trevor Foaster, aged 63, from Bolton, died after a van driver ploughed into the back of their car.

The tragedy happened when a momentary lapse of attention by Neil Lyon coincided with Mr Foster inexplicably slowing down in front of him.

Lyon’s Ford Transit Connect van hit the back of the Ford Ka and Mr Foster, a professional coach driver, who was initially unconscious, had to be cut free from the wreckage.

He suffered multiple rib and spinal fractures, and after treatment at Aintree Hospital was transferred to Walton Hospital where he underwent spinal surgery six days later on July 25 last year.

He developed an acute infection, which led to severe swelling of his spinal cord and brain and he died on July 31, said Simon Duncan, prosecuting.

At Liverpool Crown Court Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said in a moving impact statement that the victim’s widow, Ann Foster, said she felt unable to attend court because she was having difficulty dealing with her loss.

The statement said she was not seeking any form of retribution against the driver, and it was her prayer that he and his family found the ability to come to terms with what had happened.

The judge ordered 38-year-old Lyon to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, pay £100 towards prosecution costs and banned him from driving for 12 months.

The court heard that Lyon, who has no previous convictions, had been momentarily distracted by a “jingling” from the left side of his dashboard and took his eyes off the road.

Judge Menary said: “The circumstances of this accident are yet another reminder of the very great need for all drivers, however experienced or inexperienced, whatever the circumstances to maintain at all times complete concentration of the road ahead.”

Lyon, of Central Drive, Haydock, near St Helens, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said that about 9.30pm July 19, last year Mr Foster, of Lydford Gardens, Darcy Lever, was driving his Ford Ka along the St Helens Linkway with his wife in the front passenger seat.

They were ahead of Lyon and were driving in the direction of the M62. Lyon did not notice Mr Foster slowing down, hit him and swerved to the right and stopped 75 yards on.

Mrs Foster suffered bruising and pain to her chest and back, said Mr Duncan.

Eric Lamb, defending, said Lyon, who is carer for his mother, offered his “abject apology” to the victim’s family.

He has been referred by his GP for psychological counselling as a result of the accident.

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