Lincolnshire

Prius motorist has careless driving charge dropped

A driver whose wife died after his car hit her has had a careless driving charge against him dropped by prosecutors.

William Hippsley, 75, had blamed a fault with his Toyota Prius for the crash in a car park in Brigg in 2008.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the evidence pointed to "bad driving" but it was not in the public interest to continue the case.

His trial last March was stopped so more experts could examine the car.

Car 'not faulty'

Mr Hippsley, of Owmby Road in Searby, said his Prius accelerated out of his control and denied causing death by careless driving.

But prosecutors said no defects were found with Mr Hippsley's car and there was a realistic chance he would be convicted.

Toyota recalled 8,500 Pruis cars in Britain in 2008 due to braking problems.

It also recalled eight million vehicles of different models because of accelerator and floormat problems.

Since the accident in 2008, Mr Hippsley has passed an extended driving test and a medical examination.

Barbara Petchey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Humberside, said she was satisfied measures had been taken to protect road users and prosecution was no longer in the public interest.

She added: "The evidence in this case of poor driving below the acceptable standard was, and remains, sufficient for a realistic prospect of conviction.

Alternative to prosecution

"As our policy on bad driving makes clear, the public interest will normally require that a prosecution takes place where a death has resulted from bad driving.

"When we reviewed this case originally, we decided it was in the public interest to prosecute this case in order to protect the safety of other road users.

"Our decision to stop the case today in no way represents any kind of concession in relation to the evidence but is a decision taken following discussions between the prosecution, defence and the trial judge on whether there was an alternative to prosecution in this case.

"As a result, Mr Hippsley has now taken and passed a medical examination and an extended driving re-test to meet the required standard of the DVLA.

"We are satisfied therefore that our obligation to the public in protecting other road users is met and that a prosecution is no longer required in the public interest."

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