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Driver who killed Rishton pensioner is jailed
A 20-YEAR-OLD speeding driver who knocked down and killed a pensioner in Rishton High Street has been sent to prison.
Michael Yeates was sentenced to three years in jail for causing the death of 80-year-old British Legion stalwart Frank Fielding just three months after passing his test.
It also emerged at Preston Crown Court yesterday that Yeates had ‘very badly damaged’ his first car after driving it into a hedge only three days after taking his test.
Yeates, of Trent Street, Longridge, was driving at around 47mph along the busy 30mph road when he struck Mr Fielding. At the time he was looking down and not paying attention to the road.
Mr Fielding suffered serious head and leg injuries in the incident at 5pm on October 18 last year.
He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital in a critical condition, but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Mr Fielding was a popular and long-serving member of the Royal British Legion branch in Rishton and had spent years supporting poppy campaigns.
The court heard the collision was captured on CCTV.
Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “Had you been driving at or about the speed limit, this accident may very well not have happened and had you been driving more slowly, possibly the consequences may not have been so severe.
“You were driving in excess of the speed limit, you were paying no attention to the road because you were looking down and Mr Fielding was a vulnerable road user.
“This accident has been described using the word horrible.”
It was made clear that Yeates was not using a mobile phone at the time of the crash.
Defending, Sharon Watson said Yeates had entered a guilty plea on the basis that he felt ‘heartfelt remorse’ about what had happened.
She said: “Mr Yeates is ordinarily a decent, hard-working young man, who is loved and cared for by his family.
“This is a young man who is terribly, terribly sorry for the suffering he has caused the Fielding family.”
Yeates was given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, which was reduced to three years because of his guilty plea.
He was also handed a three-month concurrent sentence for not having informed his insurance company of alterations he had made to his white Vauxhall Nova.