Careless bin lorry driver kills beloved grandma in head-on crash

A grandmother-of-seven was killed after a bin lorry clipped a broken down pick-up truck and careered head-on into her car. Lynda Rogers, 70, who was described as a much-loved “feisty and determined” adventurous overseas traveller by her family, died at the scene of the crash in Swannington Road, in Ravenstone, near Coalville on December 2, 2020. The bin lorry driver Mark Wyatt, 53, has now admitted causing her death by carelessly driving and was said to be devastated by the incident.

He was handed a suspended 10 month jail sentence at Leicester Crown Court today, Monday June 13. The judge also criticised the AA for failing to make sure the pick-up truck was visible in the road, as its hazard lights were not working – and not making sure the married couple inside were waiting a safe distance from the vehicle. READ MORE: Crooked solicitor in ‘ghost worker’ taxpayer scam to pay compensation

The bright orange pick-up truck broke down on a section of Swannington Road with a 30mph limit which had cones put down due to resurfacing work. Its hazard lights were switched on, but not working and the couple inside had already been visited by one driver from the AA, who summoned a larger tow-truck to move their vehicle – but its arrival was delayed by about one-and-a half hours.

Police and emergency services at the scene of the crash on the A511 between Ashby and Coalville.

Wyatt, who worked for North West Leicestershire District Council then came down the road behind the pick-up truck at 38mph carrying a load of cardboard. He failed to see the Ranger, even though it would have been visible from 100-200 yards away despite the damp and drizzly conditions and clipped it without braking.

The bin lorry then careered onto the other side of the road and hit Mrs Rogers’ oncoming Ford Focus, before continuing onto an embankment and tipping over. Passing motorists, including an off-duty nurse, stopped to help, but Mrs Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene. The wife in the pick-up truck also suffered neck and shoulder injuries and, the court heard, the crash had left the couple mentally scarred.

A number of emergency service vehicles were called to the scene

Elizabeth Reeves, one of Mrs Rogers’ three grown-up daughters, read a moving statement on behalf of her heartbroken family.

She described her mother “amazing, strong and caring” and a much-loved “feisty and determined” adventurous overseas traveller, who was on her way back from clay pigeon shooting when she died. She added Mrs Rogers adored her grandchildren and family occasions were now “tainted with sadness” without her. Her other two daughters attended the hearing via video link, but left briefly while CCTV footage of the fatal collision was played.

Wyatt, of Millfield Crescent, Braunstone, Leicester, has since lost his job. He has no previous convictions, the court heard. In interview, the divorced father-of-three grown-up children, described feeling “devastated” by the fatality.

He is currently on medication for anxiety and depression. Ian Bridge, mitigating, said the defendant was full of remorse and wished he could “turn back the clock”. He added: “It was a tragic mistake and he’s so very sorry for what he’s done – and it will be very upsetting to hear of the impact that Mrs Rogers’ death has had on her daughters.

A number of people tried to stop to help Lynda Rogers, 70, but she was declared dead at the scene

“He thinks about what happened every day.

It wasn’t until the last one or two seconds that he realised the Ford Ranger – without hazard warning lights – was not moving.” Judge Keith Rayner said: “No sentence I pass is going to give life back to Lynda Rogers and that’s the tragic reality.” He added: “I take the view the actions of the AA contributed to the commission of the offence.” The AA man, who initially attended the breakdown, made a statement in which he said he considered it had been left in a “safe position” awaiting a bigger tow-truck and was on a straight stretch of road when the weather was clearer and brighter and before it was known the hazard warning lights had stopped working.

Wyatt’s 10 month jail sentence was suspended for two years.

He was also banned from driving for three years, ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay GBP500 costs.

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