Businesswoman Prosecuted over Fatal Crash while Using Hands-Free Kit
Business woman Lynne-Marie Howden is currently on trial for causing death by dangerous driving when she had been on a hands-free mobile phone, The Telegraph reported. Prosecutors say the conversation distracted her and therefore, she lost control on the car and fatally injured 55-year-old Patricia Frostick.
Howden had been talking to her boyfriend for 35 minutes during the journey and was just ending another call to a colleague when she veered across the A429 between Barford and Wellesbourne on a left-hand bend. After losing control on the car, her Mercedes crashed into Frostick's Ford Ka. The victim, aged 55, was freed from her vehicle by firefighters and put on an air ambulance but she died from a heart attack before the helicopter could take off.
Following the fatal crash, Howden who is a director and head of sales at business consultancy firm Insights pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Warwick Crown Court.
"I was just winding the conversation up and said something like, 'I'd better get off the phone so I can focus on my journey, " she confessed. "Before I could end the call I suddenly lost control. It was as if the steering wheel slipped through my hands and I hit the car on the other side of the road."
More importantly, the prosecution attorney, Tom Schofield believes this accident wouldn't have happened if Howden hadn't spoken the mobile phone while she was driving. Certainly, it's legal to use a hands-free kit while driving in Britain but the Department of Transport says hands-free phones can still be considered a distraction and drivers risk legal action if they drive erratically whilst using one.
Ironically, Howden insists she is a "cautious driver".
"I am a responsible, cautious driver. It is entirely legal to use a mobile phone with a hands free kit. I regularly make and receive calls while driving. My car is effectively my office," she explained.
Well, we've got news for Mrs Howden as it seems she is not very well aware of what a "cautious" driver means. The driver she's speaking about never puts other road users' lives at risk, which, unfortunately, is not her case.