A mum-of-three from Chester has been jailed for eight months for knocking over a woman on a pedestrian crossing 'in a brief lapse in concentration'.
Children's centre volunteer Sally Joanne Gibbons, 36, was hit by Sarah Webber's Skoda Fabia while she was crossing Liverpool Road in Huyton.
She suffered multiple injuries and spent a week in hospital, but tragically collapsed at home a fortnight later and passed away from a deep vein thrombosis.
Forty-four-year-old mum-of-three Webber, of Manor Road in Westminster Park, had been due to stand trial accused of causing death by dangerous driving, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Sentencing Webber to prison and banning her from driving for 22 months on Friday (May 5), Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said: “This is indeed a very tragic case.”
The incident happened shortly before 9am on June 16, 2015, as Mrs Gibbons was using a pedestrian crossing, while the lights were on red for traffic.
Webber was in the third lane heading towards Liverpool at no more than 24mph and the victim had walked six metres across the road.
Judge Trevor-Jones said: “Clearly for whatever reason – it may be looking over to the right where you were planning to go to work – you failed to register the fact that the lights had changed and failed to realise that the traffic in the nearside lanes was slowing and coming to a halt.
“You admitted as much at the scene to police officers.”
The victim suffered multiple fractured ribs and a punctured lung, plus fractures to her clavicle, pelvis and vertebrae.
She was taken to Aintree Hospital and discharged after one week, but had to be re-admitted after suddenly collapsing at home.
Judge Trevor-Jones said: “Maybe death came directly from that particular cause, but it is a condition often associated and connected with the trauma of surgery and any subsequent restriction in mobility.
“Maybe the onset of DVT could have been avoided or treated promptly. It is not for me to say.
“You have accepted by your guilty plea that the cause of death, at least in part to a material extent, was your driving.”
Webber, a podiatrist, who had one speeding conviction almost 20 years ago, stayed at the scene and tried to help the victim until emergency services arrived.
Tragic for all involved
Richard Dawson, defending, said the case was tragic for everyone involved and Webber would have to live with the consequences for a long time.
He said: “She had simply failed to appreciate the traffic lights had changed, which is consistent with suffering from a brief lapse in concentration, particularly given her quick reactions on seeing her once she became visible.”
Judge Trevor-Jones said Webber’s husband of 21 years spoke of her caring nature and how she was “consumed with a sense of guilt and remorse for what happened that day”.
He added: “Emotions I am quite sure will remain with you for the rest of your days.”