Woman Jailed for Nine Years After Killing Elderly Couple in Head-On Collision While Using Her Phone

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Woman Jailed for Nine Years After Killing Elderly Couple in Head-On Collision While Using Her Phone

A woman who killed an elderly couple in a horrific head-on car crash while using her mobile phone has been jailed for nine years. Patricia Pringle, 56, was driving a blue Volkswagen Golf when she veered onto the opposite side of the road, crashing into a silver Fiat Qubo on the A47 in Barrowden, Rutland, in May 2022.

Retired geologist Clive Jones OBE, 89, and his wife Elaine, 82, a former archaeologist, were pronounced dead at the scene. Pringle was taken to hospital with a broken arm following the crash.

Investigations revealed that Pringle had been on a call at the time of the collision. A motorist who had been following Pringle told police she appeared to be holding her phone when the crash occurred.

Pringle, of Spinney Hill, Leicester, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and possession of cannabis. She was sentenced on Friday at Leicester Crown Court and banned from driving for five years following her release. She will also be required to take an extended retest.

In a statement, the family of Clive and Elaine paid tribute to the “extraordinary” couple: “Our parents were extraordinary people. Every day was lived to full capacity. They both had such wide and varied interests and belonged to, and led, a variety of different groups and societies. They were loved by their family and were very well known within the community of Uppingham. They had many friends from all walks of life.”

The family recounted the couple’s remarkable life journey, which included meeting and marrying in Malaya in the 1960s, moving to Iran and then Africa, and making significant contributions to geology and archaeology. Dad’s incredible knowledge of the geology of Malaya, Iran, and Botswana were rewarded not only by the Malayan government with an Order of the Defender of the Realm but also by the British government with an OBE. His work is still in use to this day.”

Reflecting on the loss, they added: “The shock, horror, and disbelief of their deaths remain with so many people – their family, friends, and their community. Their remaining years were stolen from them and from us. We never had the chance to say goodbye. We miss them each day and in so many ways.

Detective Constable Emma Mitchell, of Leicestershire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), said: “Throughout the investigation, Pringle appeared to show very little remorse for her actions. However, I’m pleased she faced up to what she’d done. While no sentence is going to bring Clive and Elaine back, I hope today’s outcome allows their loved ones to feel that justice has been done and provides a degree of closure to them.

She added: “There’s a reason why using a mobile phone while driving can result in points on your licence. I would like to think this case serves as a stark warning to road users who think it’s acceptable to do so that their actions can have fatal consequences.”

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