A FOSTER mum was killed by a Good Samaritan driver who ran her over trying to save her from what she thought was a robbery.
Sandra Lee, 56, was actually chasing her foster son down a street in Batley when passing motorist Sian Humphrey lost control of her car and collided with her.
The court heard she was trying to do “something instinctively good” as she wrongly believed Mrs Lee was being robbed.
In fact Mrs Lee, who had three children and four foster children, was running after her foster son who was carrying a backpack.
He now blames himself for running away.
Humphreys, 39, was described in court as an “ordinarily cautious driver” who “would have done anything for someone in need”.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, described it as a “highly unusual case”.
Humphreys, from Birstall, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in relation to the incident on March 13 last year and was given a suspended sentence.
Months have been spent crying ourselves to sleep and a pointlessness has crept into our lives
Mrs Lee’s son, Ben
Tom Gent, mitigating, said Humphreys had made an “error of judgement” with “good intentions” and “catastrophic consequences”.
The court heard how she reversed into a street at a maximum speed of 18mph, lost control and collided with Mrs Lee, a fence and the wall of a house.
Mrs Lee died in hospital two days later.
In a victim personal statement read to the court, Mrs Lee’s eldest son Ben said: “It has broken our hearts into a million little pieces.
“Months have been spent crying ourselves to sleep and a pointlessness has crept into our lives.
“The three bedroom house that she had extended to seven [bedrooms] to accommodate many troubled children – a house that constantly buzzed with activity, or chaos as some would call it – is now empty, devoid of love and the silence is deafening.”
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The court heard Humphreys served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and has no previous convictions.
She is studying for a business management degree in Wakefield and does charity work for Help for Heroes and Marie Curie.
Mr Gent said Humphreys was “immediately remorseful”, adding: “If ever there was a case where mercy could – and should be – shown, it would be this case.”
Judge Guy Kearl QC, the Recorder of Leeds, told Humphreys she would have to live with her mistake for the rest of her life, adding: “At the time, you were trying to do something instinctively good.
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“You ended up being responsible for the death of another lady who herself was doing what came instinctively to her – namely caring for one of her foster children who was running away from her at that moment.”
He added that she could have made “different decisions”, such as pulling over and turning the car around safely or braking when she realised she lost control of the car.
The judge sentenced to Humphreys to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and disqualified her from driving for three years.
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