Birmingham & Black Country

Bin lorry driver jailed over pupil Holly Brown's crash death

Holly Brown Image copyright Family handout
Image caption She was on an art trip when the bin lorry crashed into the minibus she was travelling in

A bin lorry driver who ploughed into a school minibus causing the death of a teenager has been jailed for more than three years.

Holly Brown, 14, was on an art trip when the bus she was travelling in was hit by Nicholas Buck's lorry in Castle Vale, Birmingham on 7 July last year.

Buck, 52, of Kingshurst, Birmingham, had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The lorry had been turning and Holly, who was a twin, died on impact.

Previous driving offence

Buck was jailed for three years and four months and was also disqualified from driving for five years and eight months at Birmingham Crown Court.

Weeks before the fatal crash he had eight penalty points cleared from his licence for driving without due care and attention after failing to stop at an accident in 2014.

Buck lied twice during his police interview last year, claiming to have paused for "five to 10 seconds" before he pulled out and claiming the minibus driver was speeding.

Judge Avik Mukherjee told Buck, of Kingshurst Way, that his previous driving offence and his attempt to lay blame at the minibus driver's door were "significant aggravating factors".

Bus driver, Gavin Bagnall, was travelling at 39mph on a 40mph dual carriageway in 2017, when Buck's lorry pulled out from his right, hitting the side of the passing minibus, James Dunstan, prosecuting, told the court.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Holly was on an art excursion with classmates from John Taylor High School in Staffordshire

Jailing Buck, the judge said: "This was a seriously dangerous manoeuvre, on this road, in that vehicle, being driven by you, a public servant.

"It was a manoeuvre impossible to complete safely."

In a victim impact statement, Holly's twin Emma described her loss as the "half of me I'll never be able to get back" adding "we had a special bond only a twin could understand".

'Much quieter house'

Holly was a pupil at John Taylor High School, in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire.

Det Sgt Alan Hands, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: "Holly had her whole life ahead of her and this sentence should serve as a reminder of the importance of taking care on the road."

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Holly's father, Martin Brown, said it was "a much quieter house now".

He said: "Gone are the giggles from the upstairs, of the children playing.

"As funny as it might sound, I also miss the quarrels and arguments for these are also a reminder of a life, a life that exists for me only in the past, now."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The teenager was confirmed dead at the scene of the crash

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