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Woman who hit scooter-riding pensioner on the A11 moments after being on her phone is jailed

A woman who killed a scooter rider moments after she had been on her mobile phone has been jailed.

Amber Potter, 23, of Livingstone Road, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday and admitted to death by dangerous driving.

She has been jailed for three and a half years and disqualified from driving for 45 months.

David Sinar. Pictures submitted
David Sinar. Pictures submitted

The court heard how Potter had been travelling on the A11 to Norwich from Glastonbury on September 15, 2021, in a Vauxhall Corsa when she went into the back of a Lambretta scooter at around 9.25pm.

Emergency services attended and despite efforts to save him David Sinar, 64, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had been driving home having purchased the scooter in Bournemouth earlier that day.

David Sinar. Pictures submitted
David Sinar. Pictures submitted

A statement read to the court on behalf of David’s wife Joanne said losing him had made life “unbearable”, robbed his teenage son of his dad, and left his 97-year-old mother heartbroken.

“Dave was my best friend, my soul mate and since losing him it has made life unbearable, not knowing how to cope with the future without him,” the statement added.

No defects were found to either vehicle and neither had been travelling at excessive speed.

Forensic analysis of Potter’s mobile phone showed multiple interactions during her journey, these included taking selfies, chatting on Facebook Messenger, and sending texts and audio clips.

David Sinar. Pictures submitted
David Sinar. Pictures submitted

Because the device was set to do not disturb it was said the user “went out of their way” to use it.

The last known interaction with her phone began less than 85 seconds prior to her calling 999 in the aftermath of the collision.

The forensic expert concluded that the collision occurred solely as a consequence of the driver of the Vauxhall failing to identify a hazard, in this case the Lambretta, in a timely manner.

In interview she said the scooter had “come out of nowhere” and given her no time to react.

She said she was playing music from her Spotify account which was programmed to change automatically and that she had Google maps running.

She denied touching her phone at the time of the collision but was unable to explain how she failed to see the scooter before it was too late.

Staff supervisor Andrew Hughes of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), said: “This tragic case highlights the devastating effects drivers who interact with their mobile devices whilst driving have on others.

“It is the reason it features in the ‘fatal four’ offences and continues to be a focus for police.

“It is a selfish and needless act which has severe consequences for so many people.

“My condolences go to Mr Sinar’s family.

“Their victim personal statements which came from all generations of the family were hugely moving and highlighted from the knock on the door, to the current day, how they struggle to come to terms with the death of a man who was such a huge influence on so many people.”

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