A DRIVER was sending a text message just before a fatal collision in which a dog walker was killed.

Kay Nolan, 45, admitted causing the death of dad-of-two Stuart Mather by careless or inconsiderate driving at Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Nolan, of Colne Road, Thornton-in-Craven, who works as a dentist at Padiham Dental Practice, had been facing a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

She wrote the text message in a layby on the A6068 Barrowford Road, Higham, but only sent it once she had set off again.

She knocked down Mr Mather, 60, of Leet Road, Higham, on June 6 last year. A second vehicle following also collided with Mr Mather.

He was taken by air ambulance to Royal Blackburn Hospital but died later. His dog, a Scottish Terrier called Hamish, also died in the incident in Barrowford Road at around 5.20pm.

Robert Elias, prosecuting, said the Crown Prosecution Service had decided to accept the guilty plea to the lesser charge after discussions with Mr Mather’s family.

Simeon Evans, defending Nolan, said that she had no previous convictions.

A tribute penned at the time of Mr Mather's death by his family, including sons Alexander and Iain, said: “Stuart was a keen member of East Lancs CAMRA and also very much enjoyed his time following Lowerhouse Cricket Club and Burnley Football Club, where he also collected the Claret and Blue bonds.

“Stuart was always a popular, jovial person who very much enjoyed the company of his many friends and family.

“He was a devoted father and grandfather and had spent the last few years caring for his mother and his expanding family.

“He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all that knew him."

Nolan will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on December 17.

Mr Justice Singh said the court was considering ‘all sentencing options’ including custody.