Retired builder, 79, put young mother in a coma and left his partner needing a leg amputation after accidentally mowing them down when he put car into reverse before accelerating when trying to brake
- Malcolm Rogers, 79, ran over a young mother and his own partner by mistake
- The retired builder put Holly Mills, 32, in a coma and his partner in a wheelchair
A retired builder left a young mother in a coma and left his own partner needing her leg amputated after accidentally running them both over in a supermarket car park, a court heard.
Malcolm Rogers, 79, pulled up outside a Tesco supermarket in Bursledon, near Southampton, to help his partner, Stephanie Hyde, carry the shopping, but ended up causing significant injuries after forgetting to apply the handbrake on his car.
The pensioner then mistakenly put his automatic Ford Mondeo into reverse instead of ‘park’ before making a ‘desperate’ attempt to stop the vehicle from veering backwards, which saw him mistakenly push the accelerator instead of the brake.
This led to Rogers running over his 76 year old partner and crashing into 32-year-old Holly Mills, in a collision that left the mother-of-one with ‘life threatening’ head injuries after she was pushed underneath another car.
Rogers admitted a single charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was given a 16 months sentence, suspended for two years. He was also disqualified from driving for two years at Southampton Crown Court, Hampshire.
Malcolm Rogers, 79, (front) accidently ran over his partner Stephanie Hyde, 76, (back) in a supermarket car park
Malcolm Rogers’ (right) mistake left his partner Stephanie Hyde (centre) in a wheelchair after medics were forced to amputate her left leg
Rogers’ partner, Ms Hyde, is now in a wheelchair after medics were forced to amputate her left leg.
Mother-of-one Ms Mills was rushed to hospital having suffered skull fractures, two bleeds on the brain, fractured vertebrae, needed immediate surgery and was placed in a coma.
The 32-year-old continues to suffer from headaches, was forced to limit her hours at work, and was left needing speech and language therapy.
Witnesses said a panicked Rogers was heard shouting ‘I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her,’ in the aftermath of the of scene.
A judge at Southampton Crown Court said Rogers had made a ‘grave error’ and it was a ‘lesson to all of us who drive’.
Prosecuting, Ryan Murray told the hearing ‘On that day, the defendant’s partner was waiting outside a store for him to pick her up. He arrived in an automatic black Ford Mondeo.
‘Holly Mills was walking towards the store entrance, and Mr Rogers got out of the vehicle and closed the door. The vehicle started to roll back.
‘He realised the car was rolling backwards, and he opened the driver door and put his leg inside the vehicle, and the brake lights went on briefly.
‘He then accelerated backwards at a very high speed, hitting Ms Hyde, then Ms Mills, hitting the bollards before colliding with a Kia in the car park.
‘Ms Mills has no memory of this.
‘Witnesses said the driver was panicking and saying ‘I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her, it was an accident’.
‘This is a case where the car was put into reverse rather than into park.’
Malcolm Rogers put mother-of-one Holly Mills in a coma after accidently running her over in a Tesco car park
Malcolm Rogers forgot to apply the handbrake before accidently pushing the accelerator leading to a horrific crash in a supermarket car park in Bursledon, near Southampton
The court heard that Ms Mills still suffers headaches as a result of the accident on December 1, 2021, has had to limit her working hours and has needed speech and language therapy.
Reading out Ms Mills’ impact statement, Mr Murray said: ‘I woke up in hospital, confused and in pain.
‘I didn’t see my daughter for ages until my family brought her to see me, and she was very upset to see what I looked like.
‘I had to wear a neck collar for three months and had help from family to dress and wash.
‘I still get dizzy and feel imbalanced. I love my job and dreamt of running my own salon, but I think I lack the confidence or skills now.
‘My relationship with my daughter has changed, and I don’t think I’m as fun as I used to be.
‘I know this was a horrible accident and that the driver did not mean to do this.
‘It has had a significant impact on my career and my future ambitions.
‘I still don’t remember the accident at all.’
Mitigating for Rogers, Shauna Bevan told the court: ‘Mr Rogers wishes for nothing more than to turn the clock back. He described this as the worst day of his life.
‘This was the most catastrophic mistake that resulted in the harm of the victim and his life partner of 55 years. He has struggled with this ever since.
‘Ms Hyde is now in a wheelchair and doesn’t drive. She doesn’t have any local family. Mr Rogers isn’t just her carer or her partner, he is her world.’
Witnesses said Malcolm Rogers was heard shouting ‘I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her’ following the crash in the supermarket car park
Mother-of-one Holly Mills, 32, continues to suffer headaches and was forced to limit her hours at work following the crash
Sentencing Rogers, Judge Peter Henry said: ‘This is a lesson for all of us who drive. How a moment of thoughtlessness can lead to a moment of panic and distress.
‘You pulled into a layby near the entrance of a Tesco to pick up Ms Hyde. You got out of the car with the intention of helping her with the shopping.
‘You didn’t set the handbrake. It was a moment of thoughtlessness.
‘You quickly realised the car was moving backwards, and you made a desperate attempt to apply the brake, but your foot went on the accelerator instead.
‘It went backwards, striking your partner, then the bollards, then Miss Mills.
‘The effect on Ms Hyde and Ms Mills has been awful. What you did had a terrible effect on a young mother, and your partner had to have her leg amputated.
‘You made a grave error. That error has caused considerable injury.
‘Your care for your partner has turned into dependency.’
After the case, Senior Investigating Officer, PC Paul Morrison of Hampshire police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘This case sadly highlights the dangers, and consequences, of poor road safety and basic vehicle discipline when in a public place.
‘Two people suffered life-changing injuries which they are still coming to terms with today, while the driver must now live with the consequences of his actions.’
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