December 7, 2021 2.30 pm

Judge rejects shorter driving ban for lorry driver who caused fatal crash

He finished his jail term for death by careless driving

A Lincolnshire lorry driver who was jailed for causing a crash in which a charity worker died has failed in a bid to reduce his driving ban.

Dorin-Silviu Buinea, 35, was jailed for 16 months in December 2019 after he admitted causing the death of Katie Ablewhite, 37, by careless driving.

Her work colleague, Dawn Crisp, who was driving the car in which both women were travelling, also suffered life changing injuries in the collision on the A52 at Bicker.

Buinea was also banned from driving for two years and eight months by Judge Stephen Coupland in addition to his jail sentence.

But the former HGV driver made an application for the early return of his driving licence during a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court this week.

The court heard Buinea, who has now completed his prison sentence, had found new employment which required him to make a nine mile bike ride to work in all weather conditions.

However Judge John Pini QC rejected the application, telling Buinea he was conscious of the long lasting impact his driving had on both his victims and their relatives.

The judge also told Buinea that he did not regard his cycle journey as too much of a hardship for a man of his age.

Lincoln Crown Court previously heard how Buinea was driving along the A52 heading for his then firm’s depot at Donington when he struck a lorry from behind as the other vehicle waited to turn right.

His lorry then went into the path of a car driven by Dawn Crisp in which her work colleague Katie Ablewhite was a passenger. The women were on their way to Boston for work.

Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said that the lorry initially hit by Buinea’s vehicle was in the middle of the road waiting to turn right with its brake lights and indicator on.

Buinea had eight seconds to see the brake lights ahead of him and seven seconds to see the indicator but continued into the back of the vehicle.

The front of his lorry then crossed into the opposite carriageway giving Dawn Crisp no chance of avoiding a collision.

Miss Crisp had started her journey in Grantham when she had given a lift to her work colleague, Kate Ablewhite, and was travelling towards Boston.

Following the collision Katie Ablewhite, 37, was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness and her life support machine was switched off ten days later on Christmas Eve. Her death was due to chest injuries and she also had minor brain injuries.

Dawn Crisp suffered life-changing injuries and underwent abdominal surgery. One of her knees was shattered and she suffered fractures to her thigh and wrist. She spent seven weeks in intensive care and a year later was still seriously affected by her injuries.

Buinea, 35, then of Holbeach Terrace, Haven Village, Boston, admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving as a result of the collision on the A52 at Bicker on December 14 2018. In addition to being jailed he was banned from driving for two years and eight months.

Judge Steven Coupland, passing sentence, described the fatal collision as “utterly avoidable”.

He said: “There is no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence. Dawn Crisp had no chance of avoiding a collision.”

Neil Sands, mitigating for Buinea at the sentencing hearing, said: “There are no words in the English language or any other language that can adequately communicate the degree of regret and remorse that Mr Buinea feels. He is deeply sorry for what has happened.

“The only way to describe what happened is that his eyes saw the brake lights and it took his brain seven seconds to process what he had seen.”

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