A WOMAN who killed a motorbiker after crashing into him on one of South Tyneside’s main roads could face up to three years in prison.
Grandfather Peter Leyden was riding his Suzuki on Newcastle Road, South Shields, when he was smashed into by Siona Hughes.
The 19-year-old pulled out into the central reservation and tried to cross into Henderson Road when she hit the 54-year-old, who died as a result of his injuries from the crash.
Hughes, of Peel Gardens in Simonside, South Shields, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The court heard that she pulled out in her Citroen C1 because she couldn’t see Mr Leyden’s bike on the 40mph road.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “It happened at 6.40am on July 25.
“Mr Leyden was travelling west and died as a result of his injuries, after the defendant’s Citroen car collided with his bike.
“He was thrown off his bike and into the carriageway.”
The court heard that witnesses heard an “almighty bang” when the crash happened and saw both vehicles in the road and Mr Leyden on the ground. One witness heard Hughes say: “I didn’t see him, it is my fault.”
She passed a breath test and it was proved that she was not using her phone at the time of the smash.
In her interview with police, Hughes said she was returning home after giving her brother a lift to work and knows the area well.
Magistrates heard that she said Mr Leyden must have been in a blind spot that she would have been able to see if she had looked forwards and backwards – but she hadn’t.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “The extent of this tragedy is that Miss Hughes didn’t see the motorcyclist.
“A second or two before or after and he wouldn’t have been there.
“She went across the lanes where she had to give way. It is something people do every day without such tragic consequences.”
Magistrates decided that Hughes should be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court, where she will appear at a date yet to be fixed.
She was granted unconditional bail until then and given an interim disqualification.
Chairman of the bench Barry Hunter said: “It was not an easy decision, and it may not please everyone, but we think this was not a momentary lapse of concentration.”
Hughes’ sentence could range from a community order up to three years in prison and she will receive a minimum driving ban of 12 months.