A TEACHER left paralysed from the neck down after being hit by Britain’s oldest dangerous driver has said her life has been “ruined”.
Dawn Walters, 50, broke down in tears as she blasted 87-year-old Pauline Hayes, who also mowed down a mum and her son when she pressed the wrong pedal while reversing.
Hayes ploughed into Miss Walters as well as Nicola Weir, 42, and her eight-year-old son Kyle while manoeuvring her Mazda away from Broomfields Farm Shop and garden centre in Worcester.
Haynes crashed into several display tables sending "tables and plant pots flying through the air” before Miss Walters was pinned to a tree.
“My life has been completely devastated by what happened and it will never be the same again,” chemistry teacher Miss Walters told the court, the Birmingham Mail reports.
“My family are having to leave our home which we have lived in for over 20 years because it is no longer accessible to me. My career has been ended and my social life is now very difficult.”
Miss Walters – who was waiting for a cup of tea after a bike ride – suffered multiple fractures and now only has use of one of her hands
Among the favourite things she can no longer are travelling, camping, walking, cycling, seeing friends and singing, she said.
She went on to say that older people should “seriously consider” if they should keep driving.
“The driver who hit me never tried to stop, she was totally out of control, and acted negligently by choosing to drive,’” she said,
“To me this is comparable to drink driving – because older people who are no longer able to drive safely are choosing to risk other lives for personal convenience.”
Following the smash, Haynes was helped out of her damaged car where she asked: "What have I done?"
Prosecutor Jason Aris told the court a collision investigator concluded Haynes unintentionally accelerated by pressing the wrong pedal which was “common among elderly drivers”.
He added that her failure to change out of reverse “compounded the situation”.
Hayes admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving when she appeared at Worcester Magistrates' Court earlier this month.
But she was spared a prison sentence today at Birmingham Crown Court after being handed a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years.
If she wants to get behind the wheel again when she is entitled at the age of 97 she will have to sit an extended re-test.
Older people have been charged with driving offences – including a 101-year-old careless driver and a 91-year-old drink drive.
But Haynes is the oldest to admit to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
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