THE family of a “devoted mother” who died in a horrific crash on Taunton's East Reach believe the driver who killed her should never be allowed behind the wheel again.
Mother-of-seven Mary Middleton, known as Ray to friends, was crossing at the Haydon Road junction, near Tesco Express, on the morning of September 2 when her mobility scooter was hit by a car.
Last week, Sheila Travers, 83, of Wansbeck Green, admitted causing death by careless driving at Taunton Deane Magistrates' Court and was fined £816 and banned from driving for 18 months.
Reflecting on the sentence, Ms Middleton's son Graham said: “It could have been worse from our point of view but I don't think she should be able to drive again.
“It was obviously an accident and there was no malice but I still think there should be a lifetime ban.
“We have not had an apology but I don't know if I want one now. Whatever she says will not bring our mum back.”
As reported in the County Gazette, Travers' Vauxhall Corsa pushed the mobility scooter across East Reach before smashing into the wall of an empty building.
Stunned bystanders watched as emergency services tried to revive Ms Middleton, 59, but she died at the scene.
Graham, 27, said: “Once she hit my mum she should have stopped and this could have been avoided but she didn't and she pushed her right across the road.
“It was avoidable and that's the most annoying bit about it.”
(The scene of the crash from the top of East Reach)
At present, drivers must renew their licence when they reach 70 but this week the Department for Transport announced it was considering upping this to 80, a move which has been questioned by road safety charity Brake.
Graham added: “There are some people that are older that should definitely have to re-take their tests.
“We were told a prison sentence was not likely in this case but at least she has had her licence taken away for a while and has to do an extended test to get it back.
“We've had to change our lives so at least this will have an effect on the way she lives hers even if she hasn't gone to prison.”
Ms Middleton, originally from Scotland, moved to Somerset 17 years ago and leaves four children in Somerset and three in Kent.
An inquest into her death has been formally opened and will be heard in full at a later date.
- When the County Gazette approached Sheila Travers' defence solicitor Ed Boyce, he said he could not discuss the case and declined to comment.