Doctors and families should prevent incapable drivers from continuing, crash victim's daughter says

Ambrose Skingle

Gillian Jones

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sub Editor

FAMILIES and medics should prevent elderly people who are incapable of driving from continuing, according to the daughter of a man who was knocked down.

Ambrose Skingle, 86, was hit by a Fiat Seicento being driven by 87-year-old Peter Cole in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, in January.

The grandfather, from Dukes Avenue, Theydon Bois, was taken to hospital, but died a few weeks later.

Cole, of London Road, Abridge, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and making a false statement to obtain a driving licence.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard he had held onto his licence despite being advised by an optician to surrender it because his eyesight was so bad.

Mr Skingle’s daughter, Gillian Jones, 59, of Piercing Hill, Theydon Bois, said there should be a system in place where authorities were notified if a doctor or optician thought someone was unfit to drive.

“There should be some sort of connection for doctors and opticians, where they can call in with concerns,” she said.

“There should also be an element of families taking responsibility as well, however unpleasant that may be.”

She said although her father was 86 when he died, he was still fit and active and was close to her 24 and 16-year-old sons.

“While he was in the hospital, they kept saying he was so fit for his age and wouldn’t have withstood this for so long otherwise,” she added.

“He was so proud of my boys and got them interested in different things. He would have found pleasure in things they’re doing now.”

Her mother, who was suffering from cancer, died three months after her father and she said the support she and her husband had received from people in the village had helped them cope.

“I go to the Baptist church and the support we have received from our friends in the village has just been amazing,” she said. “The church was praying for us all and it really was such a help.”

• Cole was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday and was banned from driving for six years.

Comments (3)

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9:37pm Mon 26 Nov 12

BelieveBJ says...

So So VERY sorry for your loss, and yes I agree with with this article....
And yes....
Families need to be strong, and ensure their older family folks who are clearly NOT safe on the roads, do NOT drive anymore.
We had to do this, and now our father/ in law have adjusted to life without a car!
He will not use buses, in fact he is not physically able really, BUT, we have demonstrated to him how,much cheaper it is to call a cab....
His faculties are still in place!
The cost of running a car/insurance/tax Petrol etc....
Has finally sunk in...
We leave the cab firms card by the phone, and now, our father/father in law will, phone them, when we are not able to take him wherever he needs to go.
PEOPLE ...... lets be responsible.
Imagine how we would would feel, if
such a TERRIBLE tragedy occurred.??
So So VERY sorry for your loss, and yes I agree with with this article.... And yes.... Families need to be strong, and ensure their older family folks who are clearly NOT safe on the roads, do NOT drive anymore. We had to do this, and now our father/ in law have adjusted to life without a car! He will not use buses, in fact he is not physically able really, BUT, we have demonstrated to him how,much cheaper it is to call a cab.... His faculties are still in place! The cost of running a car/insurance/tax Petrol etc.... Has finally sunk in... We leave the cab firms card by the phone, and now, our father/father in law will, phone them, when we are not able to take him wherever he needs to go. PEOPLE ...... lets be responsible. Imagine how we would would feel, if such a TERRIBLE tragedy occurred.?? BelieveBJ
  • Score: 0

10:24pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Cel258 says...

I can understand how very upset it must be to lose a love one. I am sure if the family of mr cole knew the full situation with his eyes they would have done everything in their power to stop him driving. The article does not mention that mr cole suffers from Altzheimers were reasoning is very limited. I can't image what the judge was thinking when he sent this man to prison. The presence of anyone with dementia in prison raises important ethical issues.Dementia makes a person paranoid or confused, which is only exacerbated in a place of confinement, like prison. Is prison really the right decision for this man?
I can understand how very upset it must be to lose a love one. I am sure if the family of mr cole knew the full situation with his eyes they would have done everything in their power to stop him driving. The article does not mention that mr cole suffers from Altzheimers were reasoning is very limited. I can't image what the judge was thinking when he sent this man to prison. The presence of anyone with dementia in prison raises important ethical issues.Dementia makes a person paranoid or confused, which is only exacerbated in a place of confinement, like prison. Is prison really the right decision for this man? Cel258
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Mon 26 Nov 12

BelieveBJ says...

If what cel258 is true....
EVEN more reason for FAMILIES to be dutiful in their responsibilities.
Yes, this judges actions will spur us all on to BE RESPONSIBLE.
An innocent man lost is life.....and all the family lost a loved one prematurely.
Harsh, but true.
If what cel258 is true.... EVEN more reason for FAMILIES to be dutiful in their responsibilities. Yes, this judges actions will spur us all on to BE RESPONSIBLE. An innocent man lost is life.....and all the family lost a loved one prematurely. Harsh, but true. BelieveBJ
  • Score: 0

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