Elderly man blames fatal car crash on bad eye test

William Searle, who lives in England’s southwest, received a three-month suspended sentence and had his licence revoked, after a jury found him guilty of causing death by careless driving.Searle told Exeter Crown Court had hadn’t seen the victim, 53-year-old Mr Jerry Daniell, as he exited the yard of a garage but still maintained his eyesight was good enough to drive.“I looked with care. I looked right and then left and then right and pulled out. I did not see anything happen and then I heard a big bang and that was it,” Searle said.“I never saw the motorcycle. I cannot answer why I did not see it. I had been to Specsavers and had my eyes checked. They never said anything about me not being able to drive.”Dr Dominic McHugh, a consultant ophthalmologist brought in as an expert witness, told the trial that Searle may not have seen the bike approaching in his peripheral vision due to a blind spot in his retina known as a scotoma.He also said had he seen the results of the Specsavers tests then he would have told Searle to get a second opinion before he got behind the wheel.The accident occurred just two days after an optometrist’s report was used at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to renew Searle’s driving licence.Police carried out their own check on his eyesight two days after the fatal crash and he was unable to a read number plate from 20m wearing the same glasses he had on the day of the crash.Judge Geoffrey Mercer said the seriousness of the offence justified a suspended sentence.

Send this to a friend