Cumbria Crack

Pensioner on trial following Lakes crash which left two women badly hurt

Carlisle Crown Court

A PENSIONER accused of causing serious injury to two women by dangerous driving in the Lake District has gone on trial.

Anthony Lonton, 78, faces two charges which arise out of a head-on smash on the A591 at Thirlmere in July, 2015. Lonton’s Kia Cee’d is said to have veered across the single carriageway road and into the path of a Seat Altea containing a couple from Maryport.

This was driven by Gareth Pattinson, who had been celebrating his first wedding anniversary in the Lakes that day with wife Rebecca, who was 38 weeks’ pregnant.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Mrs Pattinson underwent an emergency caesarean in hospital, but woke to the tragic news that her baby had not survived.

Lonton’s front seat passenger, Sybil Parker, meanwhile, suffered a “catalogue of injuries”, and remained in hospital for two months.

Opening the case at Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES), prosecutor Richard Archer said Lonton had told a doctor at the crash scene he had “likely fallen asleep at the wheel”, and that he had been “feeling tired prior to the collision” following a long day out in the Scottish Border. He was said to have told a police officer: “I can only think that I must have fallen asleep.”

But Lonton, of Carriage Drive, Windermere, denies causing serious injury to both Mrs Pattinson and Ms Parker by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.

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