Top pick: Nepal PM Pushpa Kumar Dahal approves rail deal with China under BRI before losing vote of confidence

UK woman driver jailed after she kills scooter rider while clicking winking selfie

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 08 Jun 2024

UK woman driver jailed after she kills scooter rider while clicking winking selfie

Victim of the mishap who was identified as David Sinar Photo Courtesy: Norfolk Police website

A British woman who ploughed into the back of a motorcyclist killing the rider moments after she zoomed in on a selfie on her mobile phone has been jailed.

Amber Potter, aged 23, of Livingstone Road, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday 5 June and admitted to death by dangerous driving.

She has been jailed for three and a half years and disqualified from driving for 45 months.

The court heard how Potter had been travelling on the A11 to Norwich from Glastonbury on Wednesday 15 September 2021 in a Vauxhall Corsa when she went into the back of a Lambretta scooter at around 9.25pm.

Emergency services attended and despite efforts to save him David Sinar, aged 64, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

He had been driving home having purchased the scooter in Bournemouth earlier that day.

A statement read to the court on behalf of David’s wife Joanne said losing him had made life “unbearable”, robbed his teenage son of his dad, and left his 97-year-old mother heartbroken.

“Dave was my best friend, my soul mate and since losing him has made life unbearable, not knowing how to cope with the future without him,” the statement added.

No defects were found to either vehicle and neither had been travelling at excessive speed.

Forensic analysis of Potter’s mobile phone showed multiple interactions during her journey.

These included taking selfies, chatting on Facebook Messenger, and sending texts and audio clips.

Because the device was set to “do not disturb” it was said the user “went out of their way” to use it.

The last known interaction with her phone began less than 85 seconds prior to her calling 999 in the aftermath of the collision.

The forensic expert concluded that the collision occurred solely as a consequence of the driver of the Vauxhall failing to identify a hazard, in this case the Lambretta, in a timely manner.

In interview she said the scooter had “come out of nowhere” and given her no time to react.

She said she was playing music from her Spotify account which was programmed to change automatically and that she had Google maps running.

She denied touching her phone at the time of the collision but was unable to explain how she failed to see the scooter before it was too late.

Staff supervisor Andrew Hughes of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), said: “This tragic case highlights the devastating effects drivers who interact with their mobile devices whilst driving have on others.

“It is the reason it features in the ‘fatal four’ offences and continues to be a focus for police.

“It is a selfish and needless act which has severe consequences for so many people.

“My condolences go to Mr Sinar’s family.

“Their victim personal statements which came from all generations of the family were hugely moving and highlighted from the knock on the door, to the current day, how they struggle to come to terms with the death of a man who was such a huge influence on so many people.”