Driver's relief at being cleared of causing deaths in ambulance crash

Daily Echo: Richard Husband. Richard Husband.

A HAMPSHIRE driver accused of causing the deaths of a paramedic and patient in a horrific ambulance crash has spoken of his relief at being cleared.

Richard Husband, 26, didn’t see or hear the vehicle – which was being driven by 42-year-old Gillian Randall – as it overtook his Seat Alhambra on the A337 Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst road last year.

He then attempted to overtake a silver Skoda Yeti that had pulled over to allow the vehicle to safely pass, the court was told.

It took a jury of seven women and five men six hours and three minutes to reach a verdict of not guilty on two counts of causing death by careless driving.

The decision comes after a five-day trial at the court before Judge John Harrow.

There were gasps and sobs from the packed public gallery as the verdicts were delivered.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Husband said: “Whilst I am of course relieved by the jury’s verdicts, on this day my thoughts remain with those who lost their lives and were injured in the accident, as well as their friends and family.

“I would like to thank my own family and friends for their unceasing support during this very difficult time.”

Prosecutors at Bournemouth Crown Court had alleged that Husband, of New Forest Drive, Brockenhurst, had failed to check his mirror before pulling out into the path of the ambulance, which the defendant denied.

He also said he had not been distracted by music played through the car’s speakers by three teenagers who were in the vehicle at the time of the collision.

During his evidence, he told the court that he had checked his right wing mirror, although added: “I didn’t check my rear view mirror. I didn’t check my blind spot.”

Francis Ironside, 88, who was being rushed to Southampton General Hospital at the time of the collision, and paramedic Ms Randall were both killed after the ambulance struck a tree.

Mr Ironside’s 64-year-old son David, who was travelling in the back of the ambulance, and paramedic Richard Riley, 32, also suffered serious injuries.

Comments (15)

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12:02pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Hampshire Corn and Bread says...

Easy mistakes to make & something that tragically, he will have to live with.
Easy mistakes to make & something that tragically, he will have to live with. Hampshire Corn and Bread
  • Score: 5

1:28pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Ozmosis says...

The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...
The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him... Ozmosis
  • Score: 3

1:32pm Tue 1 Jul 14

rudolph_hucker says...

Ozmosis wrote:
The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...
The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention
[quote][p][bold]Ozmosis[/bold] wrote: The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...[/p][/quote]The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention rudolph_hucker
  • Score: 7

1:57pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Torchie1 says...

rudolph_hucker wrote:
Ozmosis wrote:
The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...
The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention
All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty.
[quote][p][bold]rudolph_hucker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ozmosis[/bold] wrote: The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...[/p][/quote]The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention[/p][/quote]All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Tue 1 Jul 14

wwozzer says...

Torchie1 wrote:
rudolph_hucker wrote:
Ozmosis wrote:
The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...
The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention
All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty.
Why? The guy made one mistake, how many if us are perfect drivers? How many of us if we're completely honest haven't had a close shave due to a momentary lack of attention?

This guy will have to live with the consequences of his mistake for the rest of his life, liberty or no liberty.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rudolph_hucker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ozmosis[/bold] wrote: The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...[/p][/quote]The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention[/p][/quote]All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty.[/p][/quote]Why? The guy made one mistake, how many if us are perfect drivers? How many of us if we're completely honest haven't had a close shave due to a momentary lack of attention? This guy will have to live with the consequences of his mistake for the rest of his life, liberty or no liberty. wwozzer
  • Score: 10

4:56pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Forest Resident says...

Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents.
Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents. Forest Resident
  • Score: 4

5:21pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Lone Ranger. says...

Forest Resident wrote:
Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents.
Well justice was done ...
.
It was done by a court and jury ..... thats how our justice system works. We may not like the outcome sometimes but its justice
[quote][p][bold]Forest Resident[/bold] wrote: Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents.[/p][/quote]Well justice was done ... . It was done by a court and jury ..... thats how our justice system works. We may not like the outcome sometimes but its justice Lone Ranger.
  • Score: -2

5:30pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Torchie1 says...

wwozzer wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
rudolph_hucker wrote:
Ozmosis wrote:
The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...
The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention
All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty.
Why? The guy made one mistake, how many if us are perfect drivers? How many of us if we're completely honest haven't had a close shave due to a momentary lack of attention?

This guy will have to live with the consequences of his mistake for the rest of his life, liberty or no liberty.
I'm sure none of us are perfect drivers but I'm concerned that someone's 'momentary lack of attention' can allow an ambulance with lights and sirens on to creep up behind them after travelling for over a mile along an arrow straight road that is as level as a bowling green. Living with the knowledge of the consequences will probably haunt him for the rest of his life but it would have been easier to have paid more attention to the road.
[quote][p][bold]wwozzer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rudolph_hucker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ozmosis[/bold] wrote: The fact that he didn't see or hear the ambulance coming up behind him when the car in front of him did suggests he was not aware of what was going on around him...[/p][/quote]The car in front of him saw the ambulance and pulled over so I cannot understand how he failed to do so if he were paying due care and attention[/p][/quote]All of the other drivers saw the ambulance which makes it rather worrying that the defendant is still at liberty.[/p][/quote]Why? The guy made one mistake, how many if us are perfect drivers? How many of us if we're completely honest haven't had a close shave due to a momentary lack of attention? This guy will have to live with the consequences of his mistake for the rest of his life, liberty or no liberty.[/p][/quote]I'm sure none of us are perfect drivers but I'm concerned that someone's 'momentary lack of attention' can allow an ambulance with lights and sirens on to creep up behind them after travelling for over a mile along an arrow straight road that is as level as a bowling green. Living with the knowledge of the consequences will probably haunt him for the rest of his life but it would have been easier to have paid more attention to the road. Torchie1
  • Score: 1

7:10pm Tue 1 Jul 14

melting pot says...

Just playing devils advocate for a moment. All emergency service drivers only have certain exemptions. If they crash whilst responding they have no protection in law.

I may be wrong but the ambulance was in the process of overtaking an already overtaking vehicle.

Its harsh but never going to get a prosecution home in front of a jury.

The car driver is clearly guilty but may need to resort to other methods for justice!!
Just playing devils advocate for a moment. All emergency service drivers only have certain exemptions. If they crash whilst responding they have no protection in law. I may be wrong but the ambulance was in the process of overtaking an already overtaking vehicle. Its harsh but never going to get a prosecution home in front of a jury. The car driver is clearly guilty but may need to resort to other methods for justice!! melting pot
  • Score: -5

8:53pm Tue 1 Jul 14

biggus2 says...

Juries are very reluctant to convict Careless Driving cases as at least 9 out of 10 of them will be drivers. They like most of us will have made mistakes at sometime or other mostly they will get away with a near miss or a minor shunt but a few of them will be involved in a fatal collision. There by the grace of God go most of us. It doesn't make him or her a bad person but they do have to live with the consequences. There are no winners in these tragic cases. The job of the police is to weigh up the evidence and get it into court. Its the jury who decide. Mr Husband was correctly tried and the course of justice has been run, Very Tragic as always
Juries are very reluctant to convict Careless Driving cases as at least 9 out of 10 of them will be drivers. They like most of us will have made mistakes at sometime or other mostly they will get away with a near miss or a minor shunt but a few of them will be involved in a fatal collision. There by the grace of God go most of us. It doesn't make him or her a bad person but they do have to live with the consequences. There are no winners in these tragic cases. The job of the police is to weigh up the evidence and get it into court. Its the jury who decide. Mr Husband was correctly tried and the course of justice has been run, Very Tragic as always biggus2
  • Score: -1

9:54pm Tue 1 Jul 14

downfader says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Forest Resident wrote:
Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents.
Well justice was done ...
.
It was done by a court and jury ..... thats how our justice system works. We may not like the outcome sometimes but its justice
No. We need to listen to what road safety charities are saying on our justice system. Brake, CTC, Roadpeace and others are all in agreement that juries are not getting the facts and advice they need to properly oversee a case. Jurors need to both know they Highway Code (too many people in this country ignore it once they pass) and have a clean driving record. (We wouldnt be allowed to sit as a juror on a GBH case if we had a criminal record for violence for example..)

This in turn does lead to many not guilty verdicts, but in reality many of them are returned due to technicalities not because of the innocence of the person in the dock (it should be noted this is happening to non-road crash cases too, such is the failings of the CPS now due to cuts)

Justice can never be done if the courts cannot be allowed to work efficiently...
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Forest Resident[/bold] wrote: Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre anyone? Anything less than that is quite obviously careless. Richard Husband admitted to not checking his rear view mirror or his blind spot, and as a direct result two people are dead. Once again the combination of the impotent Road Traffic Act and the incompetent courts are entirely failing to ensure justice for innocent victims of road related incidents.[/p][/quote]Well justice was done ... . It was done by a court and jury ..... thats how our justice system works. We may not like the outcome sometimes but its justice[/p][/quote]No. We need to listen to what road safety charities are saying on our justice system. Brake, CTC, Roadpeace and others are all in agreement that juries are not getting the facts and advice they need to properly oversee a case. Jurors need to both know they Highway Code (too many people in this country ignore it once they pass) and have a clean driving record. (We wouldnt be allowed to sit as a juror on a GBH case if we had a criminal record for violence for example..) This in turn does lead to many not guilty verdicts, but in reality many of them are returned due to technicalities not because of the innocence of the person in the dock (it should be noted this is happening to non-road crash cases too, such is the failings of the CPS now due to cuts) Justice can never be done if the courts cannot be allowed to work efficiently... downfader
  • Score: 4

12:17pm Wed 2 Jul 14

jonone says...

Given the number of people posting who adhere religiously to the Highway Code and never, ever make a mistake - I wish there were more of you all on the road, it'd be so much safer!
Given the number of people posting who adhere religiously to the Highway Code and never, ever make a mistake - I wish there were more of you all on the road, it'd be so much safer! jonone
  • Score: 2

10:16am Mon 7 Jul 14

Nufleg says...

From the evidence I read, no-one heard the sirens, which makes me think there were none. It is obviously a tragic accident, but ambulance drivers also have a duty of care too. You cannot assume everyone ahead has seen you.

The ambulance driver could have/should have realised the car in front was not slowing down and pulling over, so should not have chosen to make that overtaking manoeuvre at an obvious pinch point.

Sure the guy in the car will have to live with his error, but to accuse him of murder is way too harsh for what was clearly an accident.

Anyone that sits and says they always look in their mirror and always mirror, signal and manoeuvre when overtaking anything is, frankly lying, or at best kidding themselves.

He knows what he is been responsible for which is a pretty heavy burden to carry and enough of a punishment.
From the evidence I read, no-one heard the sirens, which makes me think there were none. It is obviously a tragic accident, but ambulance drivers also have a duty of care too. You cannot assume everyone ahead has seen you. The ambulance driver could have/should have realised the car in front was not slowing down and pulling over, so should not have chosen to make that overtaking manoeuvre at an obvious pinch point. Sure the guy in the car will have to live with his error, but to accuse him of murder is way too harsh for what was clearly an accident. Anyone that sits and says they always look in their mirror and always mirror, signal and manoeuvre when overtaking anything is, frankly lying, or at best kidding themselves. He knows what he is been responsible for which is a pretty heavy burden to carry and enough of a punishment. Nufleg
  • Score: -1

11:10am Sat 12 Jul 14

sirromynot says...

The jury failed in their duty to base their verdict on the evidence and the law. Richard Husband was, by his own admission, careless, as he only carried out one of the three checks that a careful driver is required to do before pulling out to overtake. This was not an accident it was a totally avoidable crash for which Mr Husband was responsible. It was cowardly for him to plead not guilty and to try and put the blame on the ambulance driver who was overtaking legally and cannot defend her actions. Mr Husband and the jury should be ashamed of themselves. I also sincerely hope that Mr Husband is no longer entrusted with the transport of vulnerable children who could so easily also have died because of his carelessness.
The jury failed in their duty to base their verdict on the evidence and the law. Richard Husband was, by his own admission, careless, as he only carried out one of the three checks that a careful driver is required to do before pulling out to overtake. This was not an accident it was a totally avoidable crash for which Mr Husband was responsible. It was cowardly for him to plead not guilty and to try and put the blame on the ambulance driver who was overtaking legally and cannot defend her actions. Mr Husband and the jury should be ashamed of themselves. I also sincerely hope that Mr Husband is no longer entrusted with the transport of vulnerable children who could so easily also have died because of his carelessness. sirromynot
  • Score: 0

11:16am Sat 12 Jul 14

sirromynot says...

melting pot wrote:
Just playing devils advocate for a moment. All emergency service drivers only have certain exemptions. If they crash whilst responding they have no protection in law.

I may be wrong but the ambulance was in the process of overtaking an already overtaking vehicle.

Its harsh but never going to get a prosecution home in front of a jury.

The car driver is clearly guilty but may need to resort to other methods for justice!!
You are wrong, the car was not overtaking when the ambulance overtook. It was overtaking and alongside the car when it was hit in the side when Richard Husband pulled out without making sure it was safe to do so. Very careless driving for which a responsible jury would have found him guilty.
[quote][p][bold]melting pot[/bold] wrote: Just playing devils advocate for a moment. All emergency service drivers only have certain exemptions. If they crash whilst responding they have no protection in law. I may be wrong but the ambulance was in the process of overtaking an already overtaking vehicle. Its harsh but never going to get a prosecution home in front of a jury. The car driver is clearly guilty but may need to resort to other methods for justice!![/p][/quote]You are wrong, the car was not overtaking when the ambulance overtook. It was overtaking and alongside the car when it was hit in the side when Richard Husband pulled out without making sure it was safe to do so. Very careless driving for which a responsible jury would have found him guilty. sirromynot
  • Score: 0

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