A UK bus driver has been jailed after causing horrific injuries to an 83-year-old passenger resulting in both her legs being amputated.
Scott Cliff, 49, a driver for Go North East buses, deliberately closed the doors on the passenger as she tried to board the bus. He claimed he mistook her for someone he had previously seen fare dodging, even though all people of the victim’s age receive free bus travel in the UK.
The woman’s walking stick, which was attached to her wrist, became caught in the doors and Cliff drove off, dragging her under the bus and trapping her beneath its rear wheels. One of her legs had to be removed before she was taken to hospital where the other was also amputated.
The incident took place in September 2021 in Wallsend, North Tyneside but the case has just been heard in Newcastle Crown Court. The prosecutor cited a collision report which described the accident as “the direct result of the defendant’s premeditated intention to refuse entry to Mrs Scott and his complacency in carrying out sufficient checks to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users before pulling away.”
Cliff admitted causing Joan Scott serious injury by dangerous driving and faces 27-months in jail. Passing sentence, the judge said: “What you did, extraordinarily really, was to close the doors against her, knowing she wanted to get on and was almost about to get on. You then faced forward, checked your mirror and drove off.”
Ms Scott’s grandson said, “The grandma I knew died on the 19th of September 2021,” a sentiment shared by her son, Brian, who said: “the driver of the bus has on that day taken my mother, taken the head of my family, in such a shocking way. She is trapped in a broken body caused single-handedly by the actions of one person.” He added: “He has destroyed our family and I hope this horrendous incident makes other drivers of all vehicles sit up and take note.”
Lead investigator PC Catherine Lloyd, of Northumbria police, noted the duty of care and responsibility that bus drivers have while in control of a vehicle.
“This is such a devastating outcome for Joan and her family and my thoughts remain with them at this awful time,” Lloyd said. “What happened on that evening was absolutely tragic and the consequences irreversible. There is no doubt that Cliff’s actions have destroyed more than one life for ever, and it should act as a harrowing reminder to everyone as to what can happen if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle and act carelessly, dangerously or without due consideration to others.”