Seriously injured cyclist hit by bus appeals for driver to keep job

PUBLISHED: 16:51 07 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:09 07 August 2020

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A cyclist who suffered serious injuries when she was hit by a bus on a pedestrian crossing has pleaded for the driver not to lose her job over the accident.

Alice Walker sustained multiple fractures to her pelvis and other injuries when struck while crossing Newmarket Road in Norwich on September 16 last year.

Joanne Kemp, of Barwells Court, Dereham, told police she feared she had killed the student when she drove the double decker bus through a red light.

Appearing at Norwich Magistrates Court the 48-year-old driver pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and to failing to comply with a red light at a crossing.

The court heard she was newly qualified when the accident occurred and had been working seven consecutive days.

Prosecuting Jane Walker said the student cyclist had seen the lights change to red before she started to cross.

She said: “She looked both ways and saw cars had stopped. She looked right and saw the bus some way off and thought because the lights had changed to red it would stop.

“She got almost to the island in the middle of the crossing when she realised the bus was heading straight for her.”

In a personal statement to the court Miss Walker said she was still living with the consequences of the collision.

She said: “I am still in considerable discomfort with periodic pain. Walking intensifies the pain and the only way to ease it is by remaining still by lying down or sitting.”

A week after the collision she had been due to return to Leeds University to start the second year of a history degree. She has been unable to return her studies and is unsure whether she will continue.

However she said she does not blame the driver and appealed for her not to lose her driving licence and job.

“Although I have been through a lot in the last few months and the discomfort is a permanent reminder of the collision at no time have I felt any anger towards the bus driver,” she said.

“I know she was only doing her job that day and had no intention of harming anyone. I understand that we all make mistakes and I believe that is what happened on that day. However I’m also aware that this is her living and I don’t feel that she needs to lose her job over this or her driving licence.”

Tom Davis, defending, said Kemp no longer worked as a bus driver.

He said: “This is a sad case and my client doesn’t shy away from the consequences that this collision has had.

“The aftermath of this has also had a tremendous impact on her as well. It has distressed her greatly and I believe she thought she had killed Miss Walker.”

Kemp was fined £250 and ordered to pay £50 costs and was given nine points on her driving licence.

Addressing Kemp, Colonel Howard Gill, chairman of the bench said: “Clearly this wasn’t intentional and I’m sure you have reflected on it many times over the months.”

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