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Grandfather escapes jail after colliding with family in Folkestone


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A grandfather who mowed down a family on a zebra crossing, dragging a six-year-old girl down the road, has avoided jail.

Quick-thinking onlookers lifted David Fraser’s Ford to rescue her as she lay motionless, after he smashed into the trio in Radnor Park Road, Folkestone.

David Frazer has avoided jail
David Frazer has avoided jail

The 86-year-old was today handed a suspended prison sentence at Canterbury Crown Court after the crash in January 2020.

“The family was halfway across the crossing making way for the central refuge when (the father) realised the defendant’s car was about to hit them,” prosecutor Ian Foinette explained.

A split-second later he and his wife were thrown into the air, with the girl “trapped under the front of the car and was dragged down the road,” Mr Foinette said.

Witnesses rallied together and managed to lift the car and then slide the child from under it.

She was rushed to hospital and treated for a fracture, swelling and abrasions - she has now made a full recovery.

The crash happened in Radnor Park Road, Folkestone. Picture: Google Maps
The crash happened in Radnor Park Road, Folkestone. Picture: Google Maps

When police breathalysed the former East Kent Colliers miner at the scene the results turned up negative for alcohol.

However the grandfather-of-six struggled during an exercise to examine his balance, with officers remarking it may have been due to his advanced years.

Frazer told officers the low winter light had obscured his view of the family and zebra crossing.

But Judge Simon James ruled his “reactions and responses have been affected by advanced years.”

“I have no doubt the emotional impact will last well after the broken bones and physical injuries have healed.

“This crossing was well marked and clearly visible, you failed to see it, or the people using it,” he added.

Handing down a one-year sentence suspended for 18 months, Judge James remarked there was “no point” imprisoning Frazer immediately, who will “spend the rest of your life wrestling” with his actions.

Phil Rowley mitigating said Frazer, who was 84 at the time of the accident, was a “deeply remorseful family man” and pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

He explained Frazer, of previous good character, had worked hard all of his life to provide for his now deceased wife and four children.

Frazer, of Trinity Place in Deal, had since surrendered his licence, he added.

Judge James commended those involved in the rescue bid, describing their actions as “prompt selfless acts.”

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