Lorry driver jailed for Finchley Road collision which saw pensioner’s leg amputated

The elderly woman receives treatment after being involved in the collision in Finchley Road (image h

The elderly woman receives treatment after being involved in the collision in Finchley Road (image has been censored) - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for eight months after the lorry he was driving was in a serious collision with a pensioner in Finchley Road, resulting in the victim’s leg being amputated.

John Seaman, 50, from Woburn, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday.

The incident, on March 27 last year, happened at the junction with Fairfax Road and resulted in a “previously fit and active” 79-year-old woman losing her leg.

The flat back lorry was travelling northbound at the time, following a bus.

Investigations later found that when they approached the junction with Fairfax Road, Mr Seaman drove through an amber traffic light on a pelican crossing but was then forced to stop when the bus in front of him unexpectedly stopped.

Mr Seaman stopped, straddling the pedestrian crossing for a short while, and remained there when the pedestrian ‘green man’ illuminated.

When the bus in front of him moved off, Mr Seaman did the same colliding with a 79-year-old woman who was crossing from his near side on the pelican crossing with the ‘green man’ lit.

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Police examination of the vehicle at the scene showed the nearside close proximity mirror was in a defective position.

It also showed that the victim would have been visible through the nearside window approaching the lorry.

Mr Seaman claimed the mirror must have slipped into this position earlier in the day though he could not say when.

He was also disqualified from driving for a period of three years with a requirement to sit an extended re-test.

Det Sgt Chris Osborne from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Alperton said: “Lorry drivers have a duty of care to protect and look out for vulnerable road users. When sentencing Mr Seaman to a term of imprisonment the judge recognised the clear breach of that duty and stated this should be seen as a deterrent to other drivers of large vehicles on London’s streets. The one mirror that could have prevented this incident was defective, but Mr Seaman still chose to move off having found himself in a dangerous position. A previously fit and active 79-year-old lady’s life has been changed for ever by the events of that day.”