Birmingham driver fined following crush accident

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A bus driver has been given a fine and points on his driving licence after causing an accident which left a three-year-old boy with severe injuries and brain damage, the Birmingham Mail reported.

Thomas Harvey, 49, of Yardley Wood was sentenced at Birmingham magistrates’ court to a £140 fine, a £15 victim surcharge and £625 of prosecution costs, while also having his license endorsed with four penalty points. He had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to driving without due care and attention.

Deshai Gillespie, the victim of the accident, was with his mother Sherise Gillespie, who allowed her son to go onto the bus ahead of her on October 1, 2010. However, the bus, which was working route 49, pulled off with its doors still open, causing Deshai to fall of, become trapped under the wheel and get dragged along the road.

Deshai was taken to hospital and underwent surgery, during which time his heart stopped beating for 30 minutes. As well as losing a leg, he cannot communicate, sit up, lift his head or chew food, and is limited to the use of his left hand, having to be fed via a gastric tube.

The prosecution proved its case that the accident was caused by Harvey driving off whilst the doors were still open. Mark Turner,Harvey’s barrister argued this was not the case – the doors were shut and Deshai had slipped and fell before boarding the bus.

Harvey, a bus driver since 2001 with a clean licence, was claimed by Turner to be struggling for cash and was in poor mental health, so much so that he was taking tranquilisers. “He is a decent man who made an error of judgement and he will live with the consequences,” Turner said.

Chairman of the bench Richard Lea said: “This month is my 26th anniversary of being a magistrate and this is the saddest case I have ever been involved with.”