A motorist who failed to stop after causing the death of an elderly disabled pedestrian on a pelican crossing has been jailed.

The victim, a man in his 70s who walked with two sticks, was crossing New Road in Chatham at around 10.50pm on Monday 10 August 2020 when he was struck by a Ford Fiesta driven by 30-year-old Naomi North. He suffered multiple serious injuries and died at the scene.

Naomi North failed to stop after hitting disabled man on Pelican Crossing in Chatham

North had been driving at a speed of between 29 and 33 mph but did not slow down as she approached the flashing amber lights of the crossing and collided with the man as he was just a few steps from reaching the kerb.

She later told officers she had not seen him prior to the incident and panicked after realising she had hit someone. She drove away without stopping and went to a relative’s home where she was arrested the following morning.

In interview North denied using her mobile phone at the time of the collision but said she had lost it in a park later that night, meaning officers were unable to analyse its usage.

Following extensive enquiries by Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, North, of Church Road, Swanscombe, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. She denied the offence but was found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment on Thursday 21 March 2024. She was also banned from driving for 12 years.

Detective Sergeant Barry Goodsell said:

‘This was a tragic case in which a man using a pelican crossing was left for dead by a motorist who was clearly not paying enough attention whilst driving.

‘Road traffic collisions do not happen for no reason and on this occasion the weather and lighting conditions were good, and we estimate North would have been able to see the victim for at least seven seconds before she collided with him. Only she knows what she was doing when she should have been fully concentrating on the road ahead of her.

‘Our thoughts remain with the family of the deceased for their loss and we hope the outcome of this case affords them some closure.’

By Ed

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