Boy Killed As Driver Fails To Brake

Road Traffic Incident


A lorry driver has been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after he ploughed into a vehicle killing its eight-year-old passenger, police said.

Michael Coombes, 62, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, smashed into the 4x4 driven by William Elbrow's father on the A14 near Cambridge.

Coombes was found guilty of causing the crash after failing to notice the Elbrow's Mitsubishi slowing down behind other traffic, the court heard at the trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

The Elbrows were travelling to the seaside from their home in Thrapston, Northamptonshire, for a weekend break when the crash happened.

Simon Elbrow, 38, was seriously injured in the crash which happened in May last year. William's six-year-old brother and three-year-old sister also suffered minor injuries.

Since William's death, his family and friends have raised more than £10,000 for road safety charity Brake.

His mother, Louise, said: "We set out as a happy family of five looking forward to a fun holiday with our friends.

"Within an hour of setting out, William was dead and our lives were instantly shattered."

Senior investigating officer Sergeant Lyndon Pickston said: "Coombes has done everything in his power to avoid conviction." Coombes will return to the court to be sentenced on October 17.

Copyright © PA Business 2008 (Brake)

Stephen Nye from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This very sad case is one of the many avoidable deaths occurring on our roads each year. Lorries are particularly dangerous vehicles, when not driven properly as they can cause devastation in a collision with smaller vehicles. The Court verdict clearly reflects the driver was to blame for what happened and he will be likely to face a lengthy custodial sentence.

"The family's fundraising for Brake is admirable and remarkable in the circumstances. Irwin Mitchell are providing national support to Brake's upcoming Road Safety Week in November. The theme this year is 'Protect the Ones you Love' and it is hoped the event will be successful in reducing the number of similar tragic events in the future."