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Woman responsible for head-on smash claims it was 'simple accident'

Woman responsible for head-on smash claims it was ‘simple accident’

A woman whose careless driving led to a head-on smash, and left another motorist injured, says she’s had ‘four months of stress’ over the ‘simple accident‘.

Retired solicitor Andrea Suddards, 51, had been shopping for a pair of ‘comfy shoes’ when her blue Mini automatic veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit an oncoming vehicle.

The driver of the other car was left bloodied following the crash and had to have an x-ray on her right shoulder. 

She is having physiotherapy four months on.

Suddards, from Disley, Cheshire, was asked to provide a breath test by police.

A court heard the device was unable to register enough breath as Suddards has a lung condition.

Suddards was ‘calm’ at the scene, but later claimed she had been put through four months of ‘stress’ having been charged with failing to provide a breath sample.

Andrea Suddards
(Image: Cavendish Press)

In a statement, the other driver said: “This accident has really shaken me and my confidence. I have trouble sleeping and felt anxious and scared since the crash. 

“I haven’t wanted to drive, which has inconvenienced me.”

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Suddards admitted careless driving at Stockport Magistrates’ Court. Her licence was endorsed with five penalty points.

She was fined £175 and ordered to pay £85 costs.

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The charge of failing to provide a specimen of breath was dropped.

The court earlier heard the crash happened at around 5.30pm on September 12 last year on the A6 through High Lane near Stockport.

Suddards had been shopping in Nantwich.

Prosecutor Kate Draper told magistrates: “[The other motorist] was driving at around 35mph behind a small, red vehicle.

“That vehicle suddenly began to brake. She also braked. All of sudden, the red car swerved to the left, still braking, and at that point, the car being driven by the defendant appeared directly in front of her, head-on.

“The two cars were involved in a head-on collision.

“[The other motorist] couldn’t say how fast she was driving, but it must have been 20mph.

“The airbags in her vehicle were deployed and hit her in the face. Her head hit the head rest on her seat.

Andrea Suddards
(Image: Cavendish Press)

“She felt pain and a burning over her legs and shoulder and felt blood on her face, coming out of her nose. She grabbed her phone and left the vehicle.

“There was debris on the road. The bodywork around the front right tyre of her car was essentially gone.

“Her windscreen was cracked on one side. The bonnet was also dented. The defendant appeared to speak with [the other motorist], who was really upset from the accident.

“The defendant was calm and didn’t seem distressed. A witness called the police.

“[The other motorist] went to hospital to get checked out and had an x-ray on her right shoulder. Doctors found a small cut on the back of her head. 

“A small screw was found stuck in her hair.

“Her nose is painful and swollen and her shoulder still hurts. She has started physiotherapy to help the shoulder and her back is still sore.

“There is no claim for compensation. It’s an insurance matter. 

“The defendant has no previous convictions and has not been before the courts before. There is no suggestion the defendant was driving at excessive spe.”

In mitigation, defence lawyer Adam Bonney said: “Mrs Suddards is a women of the utmost good character.

“She was a solicitor in the civil area of law for many many years [before she] retired. She had taken a job in a special ne school.

Andrea Suddards admitted careless driving
(Image: Cavendish Press)

“She had gone out to Nantwich shopping for new comfy shoes.

Driving home that particular day, traffic was bad and it was stop-start along the road.

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“She has no idea why her car’s gone to the side. Maybe she took her eyes off the road. Her car is automatic and perhaps she reached for the brake and hit the accelerator instead, but there is no evidence of that.

“She unable to blow into the breathalyser at the roadside as she suffers from a medical condition that affects her lungs. She blew seven times on the breathalyser, but it wasn’t a registering enough breath.

“She explained she has this lung condition, but the officer failed to offer a blood test.

“From her point of view, this was simply an accident and she has insurance. 

“Unfortunately for her, as she was unable to blow into the breathalyser, she has had the added stress the last four months of trying to defend this case.

“She no longer works at this special ne school. She has a rental property, but earns a modest amount in rent and income.

“She has no points on her licence. The fact is, she is never likely to be before the court again. You only have to look at this lady to see it was a simple accident on the day.

“There is nothing to suggest she was driving in a manner that was reckless and dangerous.

“Simply what it is, is an accident that’s caused Mrs Suddards four months of stress of coming to court, instead of it simply being solved by the insurance company. 

“She always accepted it was an accident.”