Belfast Telegraph

Comber man William Alexander avoids prison after woman died in road crash

A man has avoided prison over a
A man has avoided prison over a "tragic" road traffic collision which resulted in the death of an elderly woman

By Staff Reporter

A man has avoided prison over a "tragic" road traffic collision which resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

William Alexander (50), from Glenside, Comber, admitted causing the death of Patricia Kearney, and seriously injuring her husband Joseph Anthony, by careless driving on April 27, 2015.

The incident occurred at the A4 Woodlough Road, Dungannon when Alexander collided with the victims' stationary car.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC commended the humanity demonstrated by the couple's son towards Alexander.

Dungannon Crown Court heard Mr and Mrs Kearney had travelled from their Belfast home to visit friends in Armagh when the accident happened. Mrs Kearney decided to take over the driving and the couple pulled in, leaving their vehicle half on, half off the carriageway.

Alexander was driving to Belfast, and observed the stationary car. He went to move lanes, but traffic prevented this, and accepted not braking in time.

Mrs Kearney died at the scene. Her husband, in the passenger seat, was badly injured.

The judge said it was a "tragic, tragic accident", adding: "The defendant suffers flashbacks and not a day goes by when he does not recall events. Frankly I believe him."

Taking account of mitigating factors including Alexander's full co-operation, his admissions and the reduction in charge, Judge Rafferty decided against custody.

Instead he imposed a sentence of 200 hours' community service and disqualified him from driving for two years.

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