The widow of a man who sustained fatal injuries in a horror crash in St Helens says she prays the motorist responsible will be able to come to terms with the tragedy.
The astonishingly forgiving statement was provided to police by Ann Foster, whose husband Trevor sustained serious spinal injuries in a crash on the St Helens Linkway last summer.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how Neil Lyon’s Ford Transit van smashed into the back of Mr Foster’s Ford Ka at about 9.40pm on July 19 last year because of a “momentary lapse of concentration” behind the wheel.
Simon Duncan, prosecuting, told how Mr Foster, 63, a father-of-four and great-grandfather, had emergency spinal surgery at Walton Hospital before succumbing to a fatal infection on July 31.
Both vehicles were seriously damaged by the crash and Mr Foster suffered multiple rib and spinal fractures.
Lyon told Mrs Foster, who had been in the front passenger seat of her husband’s car, that he was sorry and had only taken his eyes off the road for a split second.
Eric Lamb, defending, said his client, who previously had a blemish-free driving licence, had also made admissions to a bystander at the scene and had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at the first opportunity.
He told how Lyon, of Central Drive, Haydock, had since been referred by his GP for psychological therapy.
Judge Andrew Menary described Mrs Foster’s victim impact statement as “highly moving”.
He said it spoke of her utter devastation at the loss of her husband but also of her understanding about what happened and of her prayers that Lyon is able to come to terms with the tragedy.
Judge Menary also described it as “a dreadfully sad case”.
He told Lyon: “Tragically, for a moment, you were distracted by something in the cab of your van. It was the sort of everyday event which occurs to lots of drivers but the consequences were devastating for Mr Foster and his family - and significant for you as well.
“This accident is yet another reminder of the very great need for all drivers - however experienced or inexperienced - to maintain, at all times, complete concentration on the road ahead.”
Lyon was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work. He must also pay £100 costs and a victim surcharge.