Reading bus crash: Driver sentenced for hitting man

Media caption,
CCTV footage shows Simon Smith getting hit by the bus in Reading

A bus driver who knocked a pedestrian over when he lost control of his double-decker has been given a suspended jail sentence and a 24-month driving ban.

Cheikh Daouda Senghor, 41, from St Johns Road, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, had previously admitted dangerous driving on 24 June last year.

CCTV footage showing Simon Smith being knocked down in Reading went viral.

A judge said it was "a miracle" that Mr Smith got up and walked away.

Reading Crown Court heard how Senghor, a bus driver for four years, was driving the number 17 service when he entered a chicane into Gun Street "quickly" and "lost control" of the vehicle.

The prosecutor said he "put his foot on the accelerator rather than the brake" in a response to "a movement on the bus".

The bus then mounted the pavement and hit Mr Smith "square on" before coming to a stop.

Senghor went to the aid of Mr Smith, who had got up from the pavement and walked into a bar.

Mr Smith suffered two fractures to his shoulder and ribs, as well as some internal bruising.

'Serious mistake'

Judge Paul Dugdale said: "It's nothing short of a miracle that he was able to get up and walk into the Purple Turtle.

"It must have been quite shocking to him how close he came to really serious injury or worse that day."

The judge told Senghor: "On this day you made a serious mistake when you were in a position of great responsibility."

Defending Senghor, Alex Dos Santos said the case was one of a misjudgement: "He accepts that it was his fault. It was a mistake on his part.

"Mr Senghor has lost his employment. He wanted to apologise to the victim and make amends where possible. He deeply regrets what occurred."

Mr Dos Santos said while Senghor was going to the aid of Mr Smith, "someone decided to help themselves to his rucksack", which contained his passport and other personal items.

Senghor was jailed for eight months, the sentence suspended for a year.

He was ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work and undergo a rehabilitation activity requirement for five days.

He will have to take an extended driving test at the end of his ban.

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