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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbrian pensioner killed on way to grandson's christening - court

A jury heard detailed accounts of how a grandmother was fatally injured as she crossed a road on her way to her grandson’s christening.

Rychenda Edgar photo
Rychenda Edgar

Carlisle Crown Court heard how 71-year-old child care worker Marjorie Borwick was thrown into the air after she was hit by a car outside St John’s Church at Bigrigg on December 4, 2011.

Rychenda Edgar, 22, of Dryden Way, Egremont, denies causing the pensioner’s death by careless driving.

Opening the case for the prosecution, barrister Michael Blakey described how the tragedy happened at 10.30am after Mrs Borwick arrived outside the church for the service, having been driven there in a car with her daughter Julie Crabtree and her husband Brian.

They arrived just after Mrs Borwick’s twin sons John and Christopher, who had also driven to the christening.

Both cars were parked in a layby beside the A595 which was on the opposite side of the road to the church.

The brothers crossed the road without incident, and were then followed by the other three.

“The road is fairly straight and there is good visibility,” said Mr Blakey. “That part of the road runs past the church. It’s a straight road and provides good, if not excellent, visibility to both pedestrians and drivers.

“Julie and her husband made it across the road. But Mrs Borwick sadly did not. She was hit by a car driven by this defendant and she was catapulted into the air because of that impact, and sustained multiple injuries, and sadly, regrettably, she was pronounced dead at 11.12am.”

Mr Blakey said Mrs Borwick was relatively fit, still working for Cumbria County Council, and had been able to walk unaided.

He said there were no faults with the defendant’s car, nor with her physical condition, and he suggested that the accident happened because Edgar was guilty of a lack of concentration or attention, which meant she did not see Mrs Borwick until too late.

“We submit that the collision could have been avoided,” continued the barrister.

“We further submit that the only reason Mrs Borwick was hit by that car was because of, we say, that inattention.

“In other words, her driving was of a standard which was below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.”

In her evidence, Julie Crabtree said the road was clear in both directions when she, her husband and her mother started to cross the road.

Her mother had been slightly behind her. Describing what happened as they crossed the last section of the road, she said: “We were just towards the end of the road, and I heard a horn. It was an extended horn: a beep, then bump.

“I’d reached the side of the road and [my mum] was slightly behind me. I just turned.

“There was a bang, and mum was flying through the air.”

She recalled seeing a car “in the distance” before the impact but thought it too far away to be a problem.

Mrs Crabtree agreed she had told police her mother’s walking had discernibly slowed over the previous year.

Her brother Christopher had earlier told how he asked his mother if she wanted help as she got out of Brian’s car but she said she was okay.

As he went to help his fatally injured mother, the woman passenger with defendant – her mother – approached and said she was sorry, to which he replied: “Don’t talk to me – you’ve killed my mum.”

The trial continues.

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