Fleet News

Call for law change after phone crash death case

A GRIEVING family has called for a change in the law after a van driver caused the death of a woman in a head-on crash which happened moments after he had been speaking on his mobile phone.

Jennifer Iggulden was out with her husband John when the Vauxhall Omega they were travelling in was struck by a van driven by Ian Humber.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard how 47-year-old Humber had been speaking on his mobile phone just moments before the fatal crash which happened at 5.25pm on April 1, near the village of Croydon in Cambridgeshire.

Humber’s van had clipped the left hand verge before veering sharply to the right across the central line and into the path of the oncoming Vauxhall which was being driven by 57-year-old Mrs Iggulden’s husband.

The court heard how other drivers had seen Humber’s van swerve across the road.

After he was arrested, Humber at first denied having used his phone, only admitting it when presented with the phone records.

The records showed the last call had been made at 5.21pm and had lasted just over a minute. It ended two minutes and 36 seconds before the first 999 call was received.

Mr Iggulden had told police that in the seconds before impact he had seen Humber driving with just one hand on the wheel. Humber pleaded guilty before magistrates to driving without due care and attention and to a second charge of driving while using a mobile phone.

He was fined £1,800 and disqualified from driving for two years for driving without due care and attention and was ordered to take a re-test. For driving while using a mobile phone he was fined another £650 and also ordered to pay costs of £35.

Mrs Iggulden’s family said they were disappointed Humber had only been charged with driving without due care and attention.

They felt a separate offence of causing death by careless driving was needed.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Lucy Tapper said: ‘Mr Humber is a man with a family, he is not a monster.’

‘Think before you pick it up’ - plea

AFTER the court case, Mrs Iggulden’s family were asked what they would say to anyone thinking of using a mobile phone while driving.

Daughter Tracy said: ‘Think before you pick it up. It could be someone’s life.

‘Put yourself in our shoes because no one knows what we are going through on a daily basis and it’s hell.’

Her brother Gary said: ‘You just want to pull up alongside them and give them a mouthful.’

Tracy added: ‘I just can’t look at people doing it any more. You just want to get hold of them and tell them what you are going through and say you could cause this as well.’

Mrs Iggulden’s husband John suffered horrific injuries in the crash that killed his wife and was in hospital for eight weeks.

Still walking with sticks, he is to learn in December whether he will need further surgery for his injuries.

Commenting on the sentence handed to Ian Humber, he said: ‘I think he should go to prison. Prison would give him time to think. There should be a sentence of about seven years.’

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