Jail threat for driver after fatal crash

A man is today facing the threat of prison after knowingly getting behind the wheel of his “imperfect” vehicle before causing a crash which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.

IPSWICH: A man is today facing the threat of prison after knowingly getting behind the wheel of his “imperfect” vehicle before causing a crash which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.

Despite knowing there was a problem with his Mitsubishi Shogun, James Eaton, of Woodbridge Road East, drove it regardless and with fatal consequences.

The 21-year-old was driving his car in Landseer Road on October 5 last year when he crashed into bus driver Joseph Gray, 51, near to the roundabout with Rands Way.

Standing in the dock before Mr Gray's family, Eaton admitted causing death by careless driving, using a fraudulent vehicle licence and a fraudulent vehicle registration mark as well as driving without third party insurance and using a vehicle without a test certificate.

In an earlier hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, the prosecution alleged Eaton's car came off the roundabout accelerating and the back of his vehicle swerved into the other lane into the path of Mr Gray's motorcycle.

It was also alleged that Eaton's car was not supposed to be on the road at all. Godfried Duah, prosecuting at that hearing, alleged Eaton had swapped the registration plates with his father's vehicle and also transferred the tax disc from that vehicle to his own.

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At the time of the accident, residents in Landseer Road told of the frantic attempts to save Mr Gray's life after seeing him sliding down the road due to the force of the impact.

Staff at the nearby doctor's surgery rushed out to administer resuscitation as they waited for the emergency services but despite their efforts Mr Gray, of Lindbergh Road, was pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital soon after arriving at the A&E department.

Judge David Goodin warned Eaton he was “in a serious position”, telling him a custodial sentence was likely to be the only option open to him at the sentencing hearing on February 26.

“That you knew your car was imperfect at the very least may lead you to lose your liberty,” he said.

Mr Gray's family declined to comment at court yesterday.

However, Malcolm Robson, managing director at Ipswich Buses, Mr Gray's employer, said: “We were all very saddened and upset to hear of Joseph's death. Joe was a wonderful colleague to have around.”

Pay tribute to Mr Gray - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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