Mercedes driver ‘distracted by spider’ crashed into traffic light which fell onto woman, 58, and killed her

Mercedes driver ‘distracted by spider’ crashed into traffic light which fell onto woman, 58, and killed her

- in Uk News
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A MERCEDES driver ploughed into a pedestrian crossing, killing a woman because he was distracted by a spider, a court heard.

Edvinas Gilius, 31, was trying to swipe away a spider hanging from his car roof as he attempted to turn right at a busy road junction.

SWNS:South West News Service

Edvinas Gilius, pictured, gets out of his car after slamming into the pedestrian crossing[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

He pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention last month[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Gilius, who came over to the UK ten years ago, voluntarily attended Trafalgar House police station where he told officers he had been distracted by a spider descending from the roof of his car[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Gilius, of Bradford, West Yorks., escaped jail today and was handed a 12-month community order at Bradford Crown Court[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp told the court Miss Cawood was struck by the pedestrian crossing post and Gilius’ car[/caption]

However, he lost control of his Mercedes-Benz C220 which then mounted the pavement and struck the pedestrian crossing pole head-on.

The pole fell on Janet Cawood, 58, who had been waiting to cross the road in the centre of Bradford, West Yorks, at 12.30pm on August 3 last year.

Miss Cawood was knocked to the ground and briefly fell unconsciousness before being rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.

The office accounts manager suffered 36 injuries including fractures to the base of her skull and catastrophic brain damage and died 13 days later after her life-support was turned off.

Gilius, who came over to the UK ten years ago, voluntarily attended Trafalgar House police station where he told officers he had been distracted by a spider descending from the roof of his car.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention last month.

Lithuanian national Gilius, of Bradford, West Yorks., escaped jail today and was handed a 12-month community order at Bradford Crown Court.

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


Sally Cawood, Janet's sister

In an emotional victim impact statement read out in court from sister Sally Cawood, she said: “My sister was cheated of her retirement and the things she planned to do. Janet had worked hard throughout her life.

“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.

“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.”

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp told the court Miss Cawood was struck by the pedestrian crossing post and Gilius’ car.

He 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.

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

DEADLY DISTRACTION

“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.

Gilnius had six penalty points on his licence for speeding offences at the time of the crash in August last year.

Mitigating, Philip Morris told a court the defendant has shown heartfelt remorse and has not driven since the accident.

He said: “The defendant sent an email through the police officer involved in this case in which he is prompt and immediate 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.”

Gilnius was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was also disqualified from driving for three years and told to pay £320 in court costs.

SWNS:South West News Service

Gilnius was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Gilnius had six penalty points on his licence for speeding offences at the time of the crash in August last year[/caption]


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