Grandmother killed pedestrian after mistakenly accelerating

Staff writer

Reading Crown Court has jailed a driver who killed a woman when she mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.

Sixty-eight year old Pertpall Sall pleaded guilty to charges of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving over the incident in Reading in December 2016.

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The court heard that Sall had been driving her Ford Focus estate along Oxford Road in the town, when she hit the accelerator approaching the junction with Wantage Road. Dashcam footage showed the car accelerating across the roundabout before swerving to avoid both oncoming traffic and a double-decker bus.

Sall's car left the road, crashing through railings and into the brick boundary walls of a row of houses. The Focus struck three pedestrians: 20-year old Liam Brinkley, 24-year old Maciej Zelek and 44-year old Sonata Saulytyte. Saulytyte, who was visiting the UK from Lithuania, died at the scene, while the two men suffered injuries including a broken leg.

In sentencing, Judge Paul Dugdale commented: "This is not the sort of dangerous driving where you deliberately made the decision to drive badly. It's a piece of driving where you made a serious mistake which had tragic consequences.

"Nobody will come out of this case as a winner. I have read the tragic victim statement and whatever I pass today will not bring back someone's aunt. Whatever sentence I pass will be a harsh one for a 68-year-old's five children and 10 grandchildren."

Sall was given a concurrent 28-month prison sentence, half of which she will serve on licence, and disqualified from driving for 86 months.

By Andrew Evans