Shocking dashcam footage captured the moment when a truck driver attempted to warn a driver who was heading in the wrong direction on a freeway entrance.
In the footage – which you can see above – Ann Marie Crook of Cheviot Avenue in St. Helens just misses the truck as she continues towards oncoming traffic on a freeway.
The truck driver beeps repeatedly to warn Crook that she was on the wrong road.
Unfortunately, moments later, Ann Marie Crook’s Renault Clio met the Honda Jazz driver, popular former headmistress Paula Kingdon. Liverpool Echo reports.
Crook and the 64-year-old retired school principal were rushed to hospital for treatment.
Paula Kingdon sadly died while Crook was left in critical condition in the hospital. She has since made a full recovery.
The mother of two claims she has no explanation for what she was doing, but a judge told her today: “The consequences of your actions were entirely foreseeable.”
Crook shocked motorists for five miles around 9:30 a.m. on October 31, 2019.
The 43-year-old was traveling nearly 100 miles per hour on East Lancashire Road heading west when she passed Windle Island in St. Helens.
At the junction with Moorgate Road, she entered the lane to turn right, only to go straight and into the oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the barrier that separates the lanes.
Crook then turned onto ramp M57 and hit a truck almost head-on before pulling onto the freeway and driving on traffic in the opposite direction.
The court overheard the vehicle dodging Ms. Kingdon’s Honda Jazz to avoid Crook, leaving the 64-year-old unable to avoid an accident.
Prosecutor Chris Hopkins told Liverpool Crown Court that passing drivers used their lights and horns to get Crook’s attention.
Just before the crash, a witness said, “He could see her hands on the steering wheel. She was looking ahead and seemed determined to drive.”
Mr Hopkins said Crook’s intentions remained unclear but added: “All evidence indicates that this was a premeditated act and the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is that the defendant was trying to harm herself. ”
Ms. Kingdon and Crook both had to be cut out of their vehicles and taken to Aintree Hospital.
Crook of Cheviot Avenue in St. Helens spent some time in critical condition but survived.
When interviewed by police, Crook said she had no memory of the incident and suggested that she “took a wrong turn and panicked”.
Mr. Hopkins said: “The fact that this statement is upheld by the defendant has caused great distress to the family members of the victim.”
The court heard that Crook could offer no reason for a collection of photos of motorway junctions, bridges and accident scenes that were salvaged from her cell phone.
Mr. Hopkins read out a powerful statement on behalf of Stephen Sharples, Mrs. Kingdon’s brother.
He described his sister’s “compassion” and the positive impact she had had on so many lives through her work in education.
Ms. Kingdon was from Merseyside but lived in Sheffield and was the headmistress of the Westfield Infants School near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.
She was killed on the way home after visiting her father-in-law in Kirkby, whom she looked after several days a week, and after seeing Liverpool FC.
Mr. Sharples said, “After a lifetime of devotion to others, Paula deserves a chance to enjoy her retirement … that stranger.”
Sarah Griffin, who defended herself, said her client was previously “a woman of positive character who has worked her entire life, who is clearly devoted to her children and is someone who regularly helps family, friends and neighbors”.
Ms. Griffin said Crook has not driven since the accident and plans to never drive again.
Judge Garrett Byrne turned to Ms. Kingdon’s family when he told the court, “No verdict can restore Paula and no verdict can potentially compensate for her loss.”
The judge said to Crook: “Your driving style was such that it is difficult to imagine a more serious case.”
He said, “I believe that the collision can rightly be termed a premeditated act. You must have realized by then that the way you were driving would cause someone at least serious harm, if not death.”
A letter Crook wrote to Judge Byrne ended with her claiming that she had “no explanation” for her actions.
Highlighting the evidence that Crook was making no attempt to avoid a crash, he concluded that it was not a case of a wrong turn and then panic, but rather deliberate behavior.
The judge added that if Crook’s intention was to harm yourself, it was “a deeply selfish intention because you were willing to hurt or kill others” to accomplish that goal.
Crook admitted that he caused the death from dangerous driving.
She was sentenced to four years and eight months and was banned from driving for three years after her release.
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