Bin lorry driver jailed for causing death of girl, 14
ABIN lorry driver who killed a 14-year-old girl in a horrific crash with a minibus as she went on a school trip has been jailed for three years and four months.
Ballet-mad Holly Brown died when the refuse truck driven by Nicholas Buck, 52, of Kingshurst Way, Kingshurst, rammed her minibus as she was going on an art visit to the Botanical Gardens.
At Birmingham Crown Court Buck, who had pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, was also disqualified him from driving for five years and eight months.
The crash happened on the A38 Kingsbury Road, Castle Vale, on July 7 2017. Holly, who was a student at John Taylor High School in Barton Under Needwood, near Lichfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court was given heartrending testimony of the impact of Holly’s death on her family and schoolfriends.
Martin Brown, her father, said: “The events have decimated our family. I still find it difficult to comprehend she is no longer with us any more. It is a much quieter house now. I also miss the quarrels and the arguments. What is the saddest part for me is that the accident has stopped Holly reaching her potential. It is such a waste of life. How do we fill the gaps that has been left in our lives?”
Twin sister Emma said: “We did everything together. She was taken away from me in an instant. She is the main part of all my memories. Future dreams and aspirations are all lost.”
Mum Sara Brown said she dropped Holly off and the 14-yearold was excited about the trip to the Botanical Gardens.
She was going to sketch flowers during the art trip. Mrs Brown told Birmingham Crown Court : “She looked beautiful as always. About an hour later our world came crash- ing down. It was difficult to even breathe. We tried to be strong and united.
“Holly was a keen dancer, academic and talented. She lived life to the full.”
A friend of Holly, who did not wish to be named, and who was in the minibus, said: “I have had numerous panic attacks. I cannot sit on the right side of a car.”
A father of another girl who was on the minibus told Birmingham Crown Court : “She was talking to Holly when the tragic incident happened. She was unable to recall the details of the incident. Post traumatic stress order was diagnosed.
“She received a course of therapy. She was unable to talk to my wife and I but she has been able to open up to her counsellor. There is a feeling of helplessness. The incident has had a traumatic effect on us all as a family. The loss of Holly has been at the forefront of her thoughts.”
Andrew Jackson, defending, said Buck had written a note to the family which showed an “immediate degree of remorse.”
He said: “This is not a case where he has denied responsibility. The suffering he has experienced is not in any was comparable to that suffered by Holly’s family.
“This is not a heartless and uncaring man. The remorse he has expressed is genuine. He did not set out to do this.”
Judge Avik Mukherjee said: “You have relevant previous convictions which aggravate your situation. Holly was an artist and was excited. The trip had not started before it came to a tragic conclusion. Holly was wearing her seat belt sitting near the back.”
Buck had a previous conviction for driving without due care and attention on July 29, 2014, when he hit another driver’s wing mirror.
He said: “You were not a novice driver of such a vehicle. Driving such a vehicle as this bring with it responsibility. It is a powerful machine. When you turned right you failed to give way at the junction and to see the coach. It did not have sufficient acceleration. There was no reasonable excuse for you failing to see that coach.
“Mr Bagnall did what he could to avoid you. Your lorry struck the rear area where Holly was sitting with catastrophic results. Mercifully there were no other serious physical injuries. You did not tell the police the whole truth in the interview. You lay blame at Mr Bagnall’s door suggesting he had been speeding.
“This was a seriously dangerous manoeuvre, a manoeuvre impossible to complete. I am satisfied there has been a serious psychological impact on two passengers sitting next to Holly.”
The judge accepted Buck’s remorse and the profound effect on his family. He jailed him for three years and four months and disqualified him from driving for five years and eight months.
> Nicholas Buck
> Holly Brown