Tyne & Wear

Ice crash death County Durham woman jailed

A County Durham woman who hit and killed a man on a crossing because her windscreen was iced up has been jailed for two years.

Ex-soldier Nicola Elgie, 27, had gone through a red light when she hit Stephen Rutter, 35, in Chester-le-Street, at 07:30 on 7 March.

Elgie, of Arthur Street, Handenhold, near Chester-le-Street, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Judge John Evans, at Durham Crown Court, said she was "driving blind".

The court heard that Elgie had drunk five alcopop drinks the night before the fatal crash and was 20% over the drink-drive limit.

She told police that before the crash she had de-iced the car but the windscreen had frozen over again.

Mr Rutter, of Chester-le-Street, was on his way to work in Newcastle when he was knocked down.

The court heard that the traffic lights in Ropery Lane were on red and the pedestrian crossing was green when he was hit.

'Wished she died'

He suffered head injuries when he struck Elgie's windscreen and died the next day.

A witness said Elgie's car did not slow down or stop until after the impact, despite the red light, the court heard.

Ros Scott Bell, defending, said: "She's appalled by what she has done. Her actions that day are constantly with her.

"She has said on a number of occasions that she wishes that it was her that died."

The judge accepted Elgie's remorse was genuine, that she had served her country and had no previous conditions.

She was also given a three-year driving ban.

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