Liverpool

Belvidere Road crash: Woman, 80, admits dangerous driving

Norma Stokes Image copyright Liverpool Echo
Image caption Norma Stokes will be sentenced on Wednesday

An 80-year-old woman has admitted dangerous driving after a crash near a school in Liverpool that left eight girls injured.

Five of the girls, aged between 11 and 16, were "seriously" hurt in the crash in Belvidere Road on 12 February. One girl sustained brain injuries.

Norma Stokes, of Booker Avenue, Allerton, admitted five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Liverpool Crown Court.

She will be sentenced on Wednesday.

The court heard the crash happened during a busy Friday afternoon when schoolchildren were leaving nearby Belvedere Academy girls' school.

Ms Stokes drove out of Peel Street onto Belvidere Road at a time when traffic was so heavy that it was not safe to pull out, the court was told.

Ms Stokes then hit bollards in the middle of the carriageway before veering across the road, mounting the pavement, and hitting the girls.

'Different person'

One motorist described her as looking angry and another said he had to brake to avoid hitting her.

Image copyright Bay TV
Image caption The crash happened near Belvedere Academy girls' secondary school

Ms Stokes told police that, at the time of the crash, the car was out of control and that although she was trying to brake she was actually pressing on the accelerator.

The girls' families read out impact statements in court describing the trauma the crash had caused, including how the girls are now "deeply anxious" and suffer from "terrible pain".

The family of the girl who suffered significant brain injuries said they were told by the consultant taking care of their daughter that the girl who had gone to school that day "no longer existed" and that she was returning home from hospital "a different person".

She now has epilepsy, short-term memory problems and diabetes.

The judge said that all sentencing options remain open to him.

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