A woman who killed a pedestrian when she knocked her over while she was walking across a pedestrian crossing has been jailed.

Christine Ward switched lanes as she approached the traffic lights as they turned to red and failed to stop as Kim Piper crossed the road when the pedestrian light changed to green.

The 60-year-old, from Darlington was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where she died as a result of her injuries.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the defendant hit the grandmother as she crossed Victoria Road, Darlington, on her way to work on November 15, 2022.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Rachel Butt, prosecuting, said it was raining heavily at the time of the accident but other motorists had stopped at the traffic lights near the Sainsbury’s store after they turned to red.

She said Ward immediately stopped her Kia Picanto following the collision and the victim suffered a number of injuries which proved to be fatal.

Keith Piper, the victim’s son, told the court that his mother’s death had robbed him a future he could share with and told how he had been forced to take time off work due to the mental stress of losing his mother.

And his brother Danny Piper said the entire family had been left devastated by the needless loss of the loving mother and grandmother.

Ward, 64, of Yorkshire Place, Bishop Auckland, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when she made her first appearance at magistrates’ court.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said his client had shown genuine remorse and in a letter to the judge Ward said she had suffered mental health problems as a result of the fatal accident.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Ward that her actions had a devastating impact on Mrs Piper’s family before he locked her up.

“She was a mother, a grandmother, simply going about her business walking to work,” he said.

“It was a dark, wet winter’s night, she was waiting patiently at the pedestrian crossing before crossing when the green cross light was illuminated for pedestrians.

“She had every reason to feel safe. As she crossed, she was tragically killed by the careless driving of you.

“No sentence I can pass can truly reflect the nature of the harm done. No sentence could deliver to the family what they want most – to bring her back.”

Ward was sentenced to ten months in prison with immediate effect and was banned from driving for three years and five months, The judge added: “This was a tragedy, first and foremost for Mrs Piper and her family, but I also recognise it was a tragedy for you.”