Insurers of 89-year-old motorist with defective eyesight agree out-of-court settlement

A female cyclist who will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair after being hit by a car driven by an 89-year-old motorist with defective eyesight has received an out-of–court settlement of more than a million pounds in compensation.

Christine Glennon from High Wycombe, aged in her 60s, received severe spinal injuries in the incident, which occurred in Shoemoor Lane in Frieth, near Marlow, Buckinghamshire, reports the Bucks Free Press.

It was discovered that the 89-year-old driver of the vehicle involved in the incident could not read a number plate at a distance of more than 4.87 metres, less than a quarter of the 20-metre distance stipulated in the Highway Code.

Mrs Glennon, who plans to move with her husband Pat to a new home better equipped to meet her needs, said: “My life changed dramatically after the collision and I strongly feel eye tests should be implemented for older drivers. If these eye tests were compulsory perhaps horrible accidents like this could be avoided in the future.”

She added that she regarded herself as  “extremely lucky” to have belonged to national cyclists’ organisation CTC, whose solicitors, Russell Jones & Walker, represented her, managing to resolve the issue within two years of the incident.

“The speed in which this was achieved has allowed me to move home which was essential to starting a new life and moving on from this terrible ordeal,” Mrs Glennon added.

Equity Group, which insured the motorist, had admitted liability at an early stage of proceedings and made interim payments to the victim.

Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy director for CTC, described the incident as an “horrific collision,” adding: “It shows the importance of more regular testing of people’s fitness to drive.

“No doubt the 89 year old driver in this case is devastated by what he has done,” he continued.

“However, by driving with defective eyesight he was putting other people’s lives and limbs at risk and Mrs Glennon has paid a terrible price for his actions.”

He added that the case underlined how essential it was for cyclists to have insurance and expert legal advice in the event of becoming involved in a similar incident.

Earlier this year, 55-year-old former tennis coach Patrice Gougam was awarded £4 million compensation as a result of the life-changing injuries he suffered following a hit-and-run incident involving a motorist whom it later transpired also had defective vision.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.