Lancashire

Driver cleared over fatal Nissan Qashqai crash

Ann Diggles Image copyright PA
Image caption Ann Diggles has denied causing death by dangerous or careless driving

A driver who told a court her Nissan Qashqai "took off" and sped out control before hitting a pedestrian has been cleared of causing a fatal crash.

Ann Diggles, 82, was trying to park her car when it hit Julie Dean, 53.

Mrs Diggles denied causing death by dangerous or careless driving, blaming a vehicle fault for the crash in Leyland, Lancashire.

The Japanese car maker said it had found no faults when it examined Mrs Diggles' car.

Ms Dean, who was stepping out of a charity shop at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene

'No pedals mistake'

Lawyers for the retired nurse said a malfunction in the automatic car's electronic throttle, caused by an undercharged battery, led to the vehicle surging forward of its own accord in an "uncommanded acceleration".

But prosecutors claimed Mrs Diggles mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, which she denied.

During the trial, she said the car had "surged forward" as she put her foot "very gently" on the accelerator.

Amid coverage of the case, two women contacted the court to claim they had experienced "uncommanded acceleration" in their Nissan automatic cars.

'Exemplary safety record'

They went on to give evidence for the defence, telling the jury they believed the vehicles sped forward without them touching the accelerator.

Mrs Diggles, of Dalehead Road, Leyland, sat in the dock in tears after the jury cleared her.

In a statement, Nissan said: "The vehicle in this case was examined by Nissan and by the police. At no point was any fault found with the vehicle which could have caused this accident."

"The Qashqai has an exemplary safety record, and has been tested and complies with all safety regulations in all markets."

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