Ban for bus driver who hit woman as she crossed road
A 50-year-old bus driver has been banned from driving for a year and ordered to do 200 hours community service after knocking down a woman as she was crossing the road.
Judge Brian Sherrard told Nigel Adams that his "momentary lapse of concentration... led to these catastrophic consequences" for the woman, who was in hospital for over a month, and is still making a recovery from her multiple injuries, which included a skull fracture.
The Crown Court judge said his interpretation of events was that Adams, seeing the road ahead clear, had turned the corner, but had not seen the pedestrian as she crossed the road last January.
Judge Sherrard said Adams, as a professional bus driver, would suffer a more prominent penalty with the loss of his job because of his driving. He added he may also damage his employment prospects for the future.
Adams, from Tennent Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily injury to the woman by driving without reasonable consideration for other road users on January 28 last year.
Prosecutor David Russell said that rainy afternoon Adams, on his way to start a school bus run, had been turning his Mercedes Euro bus into Farrier Court, from the Antrim Road, in Glengormley, when he struck the woman pedestrian. Mr Russell said the incident, captured on the bus' own CCTV, showed there was no on-coming traffic and that Adams was able to make the right-hand turn, but failed to see the woman in the road. That failure resulted in the accident, he said.
"It seems on the evidence that it could, or may well have been, a case of momentary inattention," added the lawyer.
A remorseful Adams later admitted to police he had not spotted the woman as he turned into the road, but "felt a bump before realising he had hit a person".
Defence lawyer Chris Sherrard said that Adams "bitterly regrets the consequences of his driving on the day in question... and has shown considerable remorse".
Mr Sherrard added that, as a result of the accident, the former Translink driver of 30 years will lose his current job with the Belfast Bus Company.