Hebburn bus driver jailed after pensioner needed double leg amputation following a horror collision
A Hebburn bus driver has been sentenced to 27 months behind bars after a collision in North Tyneside required a pensioner to need a double leg amputation.
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Scott Cliff, of Lindisfarne Road in Hebburn, was behind the wheel of a double decker bus that had stopped on Battle Hill Drive, in Wallsend, on September 19, 2021.
Joan Scott, then aged 83 from Wallsend, attempted to board the bus but Cliff mistakenly believed that the pensioner had previously tried to ride the bus without paying, so closed the doors and drove off.
The 49-year-old did not realise that Joan’s walking stick was trapped in the door, causing her to be dragged under the bus tyres which caused catastrophic injuries to both of her legs.
The grandma-of-three needed to have one leg amputated at the scene, while another was removed hours later in hospital.
On Thursday, July 27, Cliff was jailed for 27 months at Newcastle Crown Court for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Following the sentencing, Joan’s son, Brian, has urged other bus drivers to be more considerate and compassionate in an effort to avoid a similar incident from happening.
He said: “I feel that the driver of the bus has, on that day, taken my mother – taken the head of my family in such a shocking way.
“She is trapped in a broken body caused single-handedly by the actions of one person.
“Mr Cliff held a position to help and protect the vulnerable by providing a place of safety on the bus. But he didn’t do that for my mother and that kills me.
“This was so avoidable had Mr Cliff shown more compassion and consideration to my mother. He has destroyed our family – and hope this horrendous incident makes other drivers of all vehicles sit up and take note.”
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PC Catherine Lloyd, who led the investigation, hopes the case will act as a “harrowing reminder” to all drivers of their responsibilities whilst in control of a vehicle.
She commented: “This is such a devastating outcome for Joan and her family and my thoughts remain with them at this awful time.
“What happened on that evening was absolutely tragic and the consequences irreversible.
“There is no doubt that Cliff’s actions have destroyed more than one life forever, and it should act as a harrowing reminder to everyone as to what can happen if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle and act carelessly, dangerously or without due consideration to others.
“I sincerely hope that Joan and her family can take some comfort knowing that the person responsible has been convicted at court, and I’d like to thank them for the incredible strength and cooperation that they have shown throughout.
“We all have a responsibility to make sure our roads are as safe as they possibly can be, and we will continue to pursue those who endanger the lives of others whilst behind the wheel.”