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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Woman cleared of causing pensioner's death by careless driving

A woman whose car collided with a 71-year-old grandmother as she arrived for a christening ceremony has been cleared of causing her death by careless driving.

Rychenda Edgar photo
Rychenda Edgar

Related: Cumbrian death crash driver tells of shock after collision

It took a jury three hours and nine minutes to deliver their not guilty verdict on 22-year-old driver Rychenda Edgar.

The jury had earlier heard detailed accounts of the moments leading up to the accident outside St John’s Church in Bigrigg on the morning of December 4, 2011, which led to the death of care worker Marjorie Borwick. She was crossing the road with her daughter Julie Crabtree and her husband when the pensioner was hit near the edge of road by Miss Edgar’s car. Miss Edgar, of Dryden Way, Egremont, said that she could not avoid the collision.

At the time of the tragedy, she was driving along the A595 towards Whitehaven at around 40mph – well within the 60mph speed limit.

In her evidence, she told the jury: “I thought ‘I have killed someone’.

“I wish I could turn back time. After I hit her, I couldn’t get out of the car because I was in so much shock.

“I thought they would stay and wait in the road. I wasn’t expecting them to cross the road at that time.”

Mrs Borwick, her daughter, and her husband had arrived at the church shortly after her twin sons John and Christopher, and all had parked their cars in a layby opposite the church where the christening ceremony was to be held. The brothers crossed the road without incident, followed a few seconds later by the other three.

The court was told that Mrs Borwick was relatively fit and still working for Cumbria County Council as a care worker with disabled children. Her walking in the year before the accident had discernibly slowed, the court heard.

There were no faults with Miss Edgar’s car, nor with her physical condition.

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