Birmingham RCV driver jailed for fatal collision

Birmingham RCV driver jailed for fatal collision
Bin Lorry driver who killed girl, 14, by crashing into school bus is jailed
Nicholas Buck, 52, drove into the rear of the minibus, killing Holly Brown instantaneously last year, Birmingham crown court heard.

Sentencing Buck, who, just weeks before the crash had eight penalty points cleared from his licence after failing to stop at a 2014 crash, the judge said he had performed a seriously dangerous manoeuvre.

Buck was jailed for three years and fours months and disqualified from driving for five years and eight months, after previously pleading guilty to causing Hollys death by dangerous driving.

In court on Monday, Hollys father, Martin, and mother, Sari, paid tribute to their daughter and said their lives had been left broken and empty and incomplete.

Buck had been working as an agency driver for Birmingham city council on a recycling route when the crash happened on the A38 Kingsbury Road in Birmingham on 7 July 2017.

Opening the case, James Dunstan, prosecuting, said Holly was among 21 students from John Taylor high school in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire, on a school trip to the citys botanical gardens and to Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Everyone on board had been wearing seat belts.

Dunstan said the coach driver, Gavin Bagnall, was travelling at 39mph on the 40mph dual carriageway when the bin lorry pulled out from his right, hitting the side of the passing minibus.

The prosecutor said: You can actually see from the coachs CCTV, Mr Buck is pulling out from the right. It [the lorry] doesnt stop, it simply continues as though Mr Bagnalls vehicle was not there.

Bagnall did all he could, the court heard, pulling left into a bus stop, but not enough to fully clear his bus from the path of Bucks turning lorry.

Dunstan said: As Mr Buck was still turning to his right, the near-side of the lorry cab collided with the minibus and killed Holly Brown instantaneously.

The force of the crash knocked the minibus on to its near-side wheels but mercifully righted itself, without rolling. Buck stopped at the scene, with those onboard left distraught by what had happened, the court heard.

A victim impact statement by Hollys twin sister, Emma, described her sibling, who enjoyed dance and art, as the half of me Ill never be able to get back. We had a special bond only a twin could understand. I always knew she was going to do great things.

Her father read his personal tribute in court. I still find it hard to accept my beautiful daughter is no longer with us. The hole the death has left in our lives is truly enormous.

He described a traffic officer coming to the familys door an hour after his wife had dropped Holly at school for the trip, to tell them the news.

Mr Brown added: All around us there are constant daily reminders that we are a family of three and not of four, and it makes me feel so empty and incomplete. We have to live with the sadness every day now, for the rest of our lives. It is a much quieter house now. Gone are the giggles from the upstairs, of the children playing.

The judge, Avik Mukherjee, told Buck, of Kingshurst, Birmingham, that his 2014 driving offence and his attempt to blame the crash on Bagnall were significant aggravating factors.

He found Buck, who he accepted had expressed heartfelt remorse, had lied to police in his interview, claiming he had paused for five to 10 seconds before pulling out. That wasnt true, the judge told him, adding that Buck himself had told traffic officers he considered the road treacherous. Mukherjee added: Perhaps worst of all, you laid the blame at Mr Bagnalls door, suggesting he himself had been speeding.

Jailing Buck, the judge said: This was a seriously dangerous manoeuvre, on this road, in that vehicle, being driven by you, a public servant. It was a manoeuvre impossible to complete safely.

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Posted in Birmingham