Case Study

Woman charged over car park fatality

Incident date: 
Wed, 4 Jan 2012

Dawn Chedd, 50, is charged with causing the death by careless driving of 71-year-old Claire Bishop in the Bluewater car park at the Greenhithe shopping centre.

The Swanley resident was in charge of a silver Vauxhall Zafira which reversed rapidly in a tight arc, hitting four other cars before fatally striking Mrs Bishop, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Childminder Chedd ended up face-down on the floor having allegedly fainted and fallen from the driver’s side while Mrs Bishop was partially trapped under the car, a jury of seven men and five women was told.

The Zafira, which had a young child in the back seat, had been travelling at 15 to 20mph with the driver’s door open.

Mrs Bishop was taken to King’s College Hospital in London but she died from her injuries at 8.40am on January 9.

Chedd claims she fainted and does not remember any of the incident, Miss Donnelly told the court.

She added: “We know that she came out of the space at speed and must have had her foot on the accelerator.

“The crown will say it is a lapse, and an important lapse, that caused the death of Claire Bishop.”

Chedd has pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

The trial continues.

  • UPDATE (30/05/13)

Dawn Chedd was convicted by a jury of causing death by careless driving at Maidstone Magistrates Court.

Dawn left the handbrake off her automatic car and had left it in reverse.

Chedd will be sentenced at the same court on July 15

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