Learner driver, 22, killed his own grandad in traffic accident that has split his family

Albert Watson, 74, was in the back of a car being driven by his grandson Callum Watson which pulled into oncoming traffic in Hull

A learner driver killed his own grandfather when he pulled into oncoming traffic in an “extremely tragic” accident.

The crash which killed Albert Watson, 74, on December 1 2016, caused by his grandson Callum, has split the family, Hull Crown Court was told.

Mr Watson suffered life-threatening injuries when he was the back seat passenger in a black Fiat Punto that collided with two other cars in Hessle, reports Hull Live.

He was taken to hospital along with four other people injured in the crash, but later died.

A post-mortem examination revealed his cause of death as multiple injuries, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His grandson, Callum Watson, 22, who was driving the Punto, thought of his grandad like his dad, the court heard.

He was waiting at a junction to turn right at 4.10pm when he pulled out in front of a silver Subaru Impreza heading in the opposite direction, whose driver had “no chance to brake”.

Watson’s mother – daughter of Albert Watson – was a front seat passenger in the same car and suffered a fractured pelvis and ribs, and was already suffering mental health problems, which were “exacerbated” by the crash and its consequences.

The occupants of the Subaru were a couple in the front and their two-year-old daughter in a child seat in the back.

Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, said the father driving suffered whiplash injuries but immediately got out to check on his wife and daughter.

His wife suffered “severe whiplash” and bruising to the chest. Their daughter was not physically injured but now “starts to scream when she is placed in a car or getting on a bus”.

The driver also went to speak to Watson, who told him: “I didn’t see you. I was looking, I didn’t see you.”

The Punto also struck a stationary blue Ford S-Max, whose driver watched with horror as the Fiat began pulling out. The driver had said of Watson’s manoeuvre: “What are you doing? Don’t do it.”

Watson had mistakenly believed his grandfather held a full driving licence, which meant his insurance was void at the time of the crash. His mother had also only held a provisional licence.

Miss Stuart-Lofthouse said when he was interviewed on March 8, 2017, Watson provided a prepared statement to police. He accepted being the driver but said he had been under his grandfather’s supervision, and thought he had a full licence.

The prosecutor said: “He stated he had not seen the car before pulling away and assumed the driver was exceeding the speed limit.”

Watson also “finally apologised for his actions”, but declined to answer questions. The Subaru had been driving below the 30mph speed limit at the time, the court heard.

Watson, of west Hull, admitted causing death by careless driving last November, and causing death by driving while unlicensed, and causing death by driving while uninsured at a hearing in April.

In a victim statement, Albert Watson’s other daughter said: “I feel very angry and upset. It is hard enough to deal with the death of a loved one, but even more so under these circumstances.

“Neither my sister or nephew have shown any sort of remorse about what happened and believe they are not to blame.”

Charlotte Baines, defending Watson, said he was sorry and remorseful, which Judge Paul Watson QC accepted. Describing the crash as “extremely tragic”, Miss Baines said: “The defendant has lost a very positive role model in his grandfather.

“He has had no positive relationship with his own father, and effectively saw his grandfather as his dad.”

Sentencing Watson to a two-year community order, the judge told him: “I am satisfied that you are sorry for what happened and that you do and will for the rest of your life genuinely regret your inattention and bad driving that day.”

Watson must do 200 hours of unpaid work, comply with a four-month curfew between 7pm and 7am, and have up to 15 days rehabilitation.

He was banned from driving for 18 months and must pass an extended test before he can hold a licence.