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Man Crashed And Killed Woman After 'Being Distracted By Spider'

Man Crashed And Killed Woman After 'Being Distracted By Spider'

A motorist says he crashed into a pedestrian crossing pole and killed a woman after becoming distracted by a spider dangling from his car roof.

Thirty-one-year Edvinas Gilius told Bradford Crown Court he was trying to swipe away the bug as he attempted to turn right at a busy road junction.

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However, he lost control of his car, mounted the pavement and crashed into the crossing pole.

Tragically, the pole fell and landed on Janet Cawood, 58, who was standing, waiting to cross the road.

Edvinas Gilius crashed into a pedestrian crossing pole, which resulted in the death of Janet Cawood. Credit: SWNS
Edvinas Gilius crashed into a pedestrian crossing pole, which resulted in the death of Janet Cawood. Credit: SWNS

The pole knocked Miss Cawood to the ground and she was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.

Medics said she sustained 36 injuries from the incident, including skull fractures and brain damage, she died 13 days later after her life-support was turned off.

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Gilius told police he had been distracted by the spider. He pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention last month and was given a 12-month community order today.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp said: "He mounted the kerb, he continued for a short distance without significant braking, and rammed head-on into a post near the junction which held the controls for a pedestrian crossing there.

"The impact was such that it left a large dent centrally in his bumper.

"The deceased, Janet Cawood had been standing waiting for the lights to change in her favour. The post struck her, as did the front of Gilius's vehicle.

Miss Cawood sustained 36 separate injuries from the accident and died after 13 days in hospital. Credit: SWNS
Miss Cawood sustained 36 separate injuries from the accident and died after 13 days in hospital. Credit: SWNS

"The impact forced her to the ground, causing catastrophic head injury as well as multiple blunt-force injuries to the body with 36 separate areas of injury identified postmortem.

"Gilius called 999 and remained at the scene. He was later taken to Trafalgar House police station, where he was voluntarily interviewed under caution.

"He admitted not having been concentrating on the road ahead. He claimed he had been distracted by a spider that had suddenly descended from the roof of the car.

"He admitted that he had taken his eyes off the road while he repeatedly tried to brush the spider away."

A heart-wrenching impact statement from Miss Cawood's Sally was read out in court, in which she said: "My sister was cheated of her retirement and the things she planned to do. Janet had worked hard throughout her life.

"I just keep thinking of her on the pavement and feel guilty that I couldn't help her, I was powerless to help my sister.

Gilius was given a 12-month community order and was disqualified from driving for three years. Credit: SWNS
Gilius was given a 12-month community order and was disqualified from driving for three years. Credit: SWNS

"Janet was fully fit and healthy and to see her body broken and maimed at the hospital sent me into shock.

"Even though I did not see the accident, I visualise it all the time. I could not help her. I could not say goodbye.

"The driver made Janet suffer indignities and lose her life and my suffering will continue. He has broken both of us in differing ways.

"I feel I have been condemned, losing her in such a way and to see her suffering because of someone's stupidity and lack of attention.

"I hope the driver recalls what he did and, as am I, is haunted by the image of Janet in distress and the suffering he has caused. He should never forget what he has done."

The court heard Gilius had six penalty points on his licence for speeding at the time of the crash.

In mitigation Philip Morris said his client showed genuine, heartfelt remorse and hadn't driven since the incident in August last year.

He said: "The defendant sent an email through the police officer involved in this case in which he is prompt and immediate in expressing his heartfelt regret and remorse.

"It is the first time he has been able to express his profound apology to Miss Cawood for the accident that so sadly took her sister's life.

"There is no racing or showing off, it's a profound regret to him that he has allowed himself to be so obviously distracted by something inside his vehicle as to not pay attention to the road ahead.

"We all acknowledge this was an avoidable distraction and the nature of the accident is entirely of his own doing.

"He is a law-abiding man who has been profoundly affected by his own actions in this case.

"The reminder of this incident will be far longer lasting than any order or sentence."

Gilius was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and was also disqualified from driving for three years and told to pay £320 ($390) in court costs.

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Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: uk news, crime

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]

 

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