BREAKING ESSEX ROMFORD

A man has been jailed for nine years for causing the deaths of two people in a collision in Romford

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Paul Ballard, 39 of The Galleries, Brentwood, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, 11 August after previously pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for 11-and-a-half years. 

Police were called to Squirrels Heath Road, Romford at 1.15pm  on 20 February 2020.

A black Volkswagen Golf had been in collision with pedestrians and seven other vehicles. Police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance all attended the scene.

64-year-old Eileen Moria Haskell, who was a passenger in one of the vehicles and 48-year-old Richard Trezise, a pedestrian, were pronounced dead.

Six other people were taken to hospital and were later discharged.

Ballard, who was driving the Volkswagen Golf, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and subsequently charged. 

The court heard how Ballard’s car struck the rear of Eileen Haskell’s vehicle with such force it caused it to be lifted onto another vehicle. It then spun through a bus stop before coming to a stop in a front garden.

As the vehicle spun through the bus stop it struck Richard Trezise who was standing with his family.

The collision caused damage to a total of seven vehicles, and a further ten people suffered injuries, six of whom required hospital treatment. 

Detective Inspector Julie Trodden, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “This horrific collision, involving multiple vehicles, occurred from Ballard’s sheer reckless and selfish driving.

“His actions that afternoon were totally unnecessary and have taken two people’s lives, causing unimaginable sorrow to two families.

“My deepest sympathies remain with Eileen and Richard’s families.”