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Driver's Mold market crash 'due to dementia'

Published date: 08 August 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A PENSIONER who drove his car into a pedestrianised street market before Christmas, injuring a number of people and causing panic, could not explain what had happened, a court heard. 

Norman Jones, 81, said he could only put it down to his diagnosis of memory loss and dementia and he had since surrendered his driving licence. 

Jones, of Bryn Awel, Pentre Halkyn, admitted a charge of careless driving by letter at a motoring court yesterday. 

But Flintshire magistrates said they were considering a driving ban and adjourned sentence for two weeks to enable Jones to be present. 

The incident happened shortly before 11am on December 7 at Mold town centre. 

Prosecutor Shaun Bartlett-Evans said 10 pedestrians were injured when Jones’ Citroen Picasso entered the pedestrianised section of the high street during the twice-weekly market, which was busy with shoppers.

Witnesses described how Jones, with his wife in the passenger seat, came down the high street and overtook two cars parked at the traffic lights. 

The engine was said to be revving, he pulled out to avoid hitting the cars ahead and then drove through the junction and careered into the pedestrianised area where the market was being held. 

The vehicle collided with market stalls and pedestrians and 10 people were injured. 

Among those injured, Sylvia McHarris suffered serious injuries to her lower right leg. A section of bone below the knee was sheered off and seven pins and a metal plate had been inserted and she might need further surgery and a knee replacement, the court heard. 

Eleri Jones broke her fibia and her ankle had been in plaster for six weeks. 

Pedestrian Anne Wells suffered broken ribs, an injury to her ankle and bruising to her shoulder, knees and thigh. Six other women and a man were also hurt. 

In his letter pleading guilty, Jones said he was 81 and had been diagnosed with memory loss and dementia some 18 months ago. 

“The incident made it clear to me that I am no longer fit to drive,” he said. 

Following the incident, he had surrendered his driving licence. Up to that point he had a clean driving record.  He was still at a loss to understand what had happened that day and he could only assume that it was associated with his medical condition. 

Jones apologised to the victims for their injuries and to the court. 

Magistrates said there were serious circumstances surrounding the case and Jones was needed in court to be sentenced.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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