‘Bad luck’ tragedy of 94-year-old woman’s car park death in Doncaster

The death of a 94-year-old woman who was hit by a reversing vehicle in a Hatfield car park was described as a tragic case of ‘dreadful bad luck’, a court heard.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 11:37 am

Ryan McClarence's Ford Transit flatbed lorry collided with Joyce Sands outside the Co-Op, on Station Road, Dunscroft, at 12.20pm, on December 4, 2017.

Mrs Sands, who was returning to her daughter's car which was parked next to McClarence, hit her head, prosecutor Richard Thyne told Sheffield Crown Court, on Wednesday.

"She was in a blind spot and he reversed his van slowly," he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The scene of the tragedy in Hatfield

At first she only appeared to be "shaken up" and said she "didn't want a fuss to be made."

She was checked at hospital, Mr Thyne said, and released, but later returned after feeling unwell, when a CT scan revealed a subdural bleed.

Mrs Sands regained consciousness on December 11, but died four days later, the court heard.

A post-mortem revealed she died as a result of the head injury and a series of strokes.

McClarence, 35, of Eden Drive, Askern, admitted causing death by careless driving.

Richard Sheldon, mitigating, said: "He thinks about what happened several times every day. He insisted on entering a guilty plea."

He said that the dad-of-two's mental health had deteriorated as a result of the incident, and he was taking three types of medication.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, Recorder of Sheffield, said: "In every dimension, this case is a tragedy.

"This has been hanging over him for two years. He is visibly broken. I should imagine he wishes he could do that whole thing again.

"It was just dreadful bad luck that this lady had forgotten something and happened to be behind the vehicle while it was reversing slowly.

"Her life, in common with every other human life, is of infinite value. Passing sentence on you in no way reflects the value of her life."

He imposed a 12 month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work. McClarence was also banned for two years and must take the extended driving test before he can drive again.