Driver banned after fatal collision on A1 in Northumberland

Lisa Wood with husband Ken
Lisa Wood with husband Ken

A grieving family have paid tribute to a mother killed in a collision in Northumberland as the driver who hit her was banned from the road.

Colin Blandford, 30, lost control of his HGV as he drove in icy conditions on the A1 around two miles north of Alnwick on December 11, 2014.

He had just completed an overtaking manoeuvre when he lost control of his vehicle and skidded across the road.

It collided head-on with a Citroen travelling in the opposite direction and left the driver, Lisa Wood, 49, with little chance of survival.

Lisa, of Spittal, Berwick, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Blandford was found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving following a trial in Newcastle last month but admitted causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.

At Teeside Crown Court on Monday, Blandford, of Durham Gardens, Durham, was handed a 12 month driving ban and a 12 month community order to carry out 90 hours of unpaid work.

Following the case, Operations Sergeant Jason Ryder said that Lisa’s death was a stark reminder of the consequences of taking our roads for granted.

He said: “No sentence handed down by the judge today would have brought Lisa back to her family and I know they will be disappointed that Blandford has not been handed a custodial sentence.

“There is no doubt that he will have to live with this tragedy forever and the driving ban he has received today means he will not be able to work as an HGV driver for the next 12 months.

“This collision was caused because Blandford was driving too fast in icy conditions. It is even more shocking when we consider he was in control of a vehicle the size of an HGV.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Lisa’s family who have showed great dignity and courage throughout the trial and I want to commend them for their bravery.

“This case should serve as a stark reminder to all drivers of the consequences of dangerous driving and reminds motorists to take notice of the condition of our roads.”

Following the case, Lisa’s daughter Danielle spoke on behalf of the family and said: “I cannot put into word how truly devastating the tragic loss of my Mum has been on us all. Our lives changed forever the day she was taken from us and we continue to miss her every day.

“We miss her smile, her hugs, her enthusiasm for life, the chats, the advice, her calm unassuming nature and so much more. My mum had a true passion for her job as a midwife and her approachable, happy personality made her the perfect companion for many a mother in their life changing moments.

“There was always such pride in her voice when she spoke of her work or colleagues, the daily conversations updating me on her many colleagues are some I miss the most.

“My mum’s true passion however was her family. Sharing 29 years of marriage and 33 years of happiness with my dad, they complemented each perfectly. In more recent years she became a grandmother and to say she doted on her grandsons would be an understatement.

“The feeling was mutual and they would flock to be in her company, she had immeasurable patience with all of them and would go to the ends of the earth for them, for all of us. I cannot imagine a day where we do not think of her, where we do not miss her and knowing we have lost her because of the careless actions of another is beyond painful.

“My dad has lost his wife and soul mate, my grandad has lost his only child, my brother and I have lost a truly amazing mum and best friend, my husband and sister in law have lost an exceptional mother in law and my children and nephew have lost a doting and wonderful ‘Marmar’. My youngest son never even having the privilege of meeting her. The loss is incomparable.

“We know that what happened that day was just an accident and that the intention was never there to take our mum or break our hearts like this however that is what has happened. We are paying the price of someone else’s poor decisions, lack of respect for the road and lack of respect for the power of a vehicle.

“We would like to urge other road users to please be aware of others on the road, think of others when driving and please don’t let another family go through this.”

Anyone who wants to report a dangerous driver should contact the Operation Dragoon team on 101 or 999 in an emergency.