80-Year-Old Bus Driver Found Guilty of Causing Two Deaths by Dangerous Driving in UK
The Birmingham Crown Court said that Kailash Chander was driving dangerously when he smashed the bus into Sainsbury's supermarket in 2015, causing the death of two people.
A UK court has found an 80-year-old bus driver of Indian origin guilty of causing the deaths of two people by his dangerous driving nearly three years ago.
The court found Kailash Chander unfit to plead or stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court as he was diagnosed with dementia. Chander had been through suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and was very preoccupied by the crash, according to the BBC.
On Oct. 1, 2015, Chander had smashed the double-decker bus into a Sainsbury’s supermarket in the city of Coventry, when he mistook the accelerator as brakes. A seven-year-old schoolboy, Rowan Fitzgerald, and a 76-year-old pedestrian, Dora Hancox, died in the crash. Fitzgerald was sitting at the front of the upper deck of the bus and succumbed of head injuries caused by the crash, while Hancox died after being hit by the bus and a falling lamppost.
The court heard that Chander, who was 77 years old at the time of the crash, had been warned by the bus company for his “erratic” driving, which had resulted in four crashes in previous three years.
A witness submitted before the court that Chander, a former town mayor of Leamington Spa, was even struggling to punch a ticket as his hands were shaking.
The court can give a verdict for a supervision order for him in a scheduled hearing in November while the bus company Midland Red (South), which pleaded guilty for health and safety law breaches, will be sentenced on Sept.21. It may be subjected to a hefty amount of fine, as per the report.
“You will obviously feel sympathy for the very real tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Hancox and her family and Rowan and his family. But in judging this case and in deciding whether the prosecution have proved the act of dangerous driving, you have to put emotion to one side. You are here to judge the evidence objectively and dispassionately,” the judge told the jury members before their verdict, according to PTI.
Fitzgerald ‘s family said in a statement that no sentence would ever stop the hurt what they feel for his loss. The grieving family of the boy called for a change in the law to prevent old people from driving buses.