East Midlands airport hotel worker dies after girlfriend’s mistake leads to crash

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An airport hotel worker has died near his work after his girlfriend’s reckless driving resulted in her death.

Hannah Sisson was turning right into the entrance to East Midlands Airport to take her boyfriend to work when her car collided with an oncoming truck.

James Pittham, his 25-year-old partner who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Leicestershire Live Reports that Sisson, who was taking James to a night shift as the night manager at Jury’s Inn, mistakenly thought a right-hand filter lane was green.

Leicester Crown Court has learned that a traffic light at the junction has turned green, but only to indicate that forward traffic can continue straight.

Sisson believed that it also allowed him to turn right.

Neil Bannister, prosecutor, said a dump truck approaching across the road slowed down for the red lights, which then turned green in his favor and he continued.

He said: “The truck passed the intersection correctly and the driver did not have time to react and the inevitable collision occurred, impacting the right side of the Peugeot at 37 mph.

“James was tragically killed. The accused suffered a punctured lung with fractures to nine ribs, her left wrist and pelvis. She was hospitalized for two weeks.”

In an interview, Sisson remembered waiting for the green signal and believing that he saw the green arrow light up and go spinning.

Sisson and his partner, from Derby, had already spent the day together in town. They also visited James’s parents and returned home for a meal before heading to his workplace.

She admitted causing Mr Pittham’s death by carelessly driving a Peugeot 107 on the A453 Ashby Road at 10:35 p.m. on Tuesday January 21 last year.

James’ father, in a personal impact statement read in court, said he and his wife and all of their “large family” were struggling to come to terms with the loss that had left a big hole in their lives. .

He said: “Since the death of James he has been sorely missed.

“He was helping us around the house and family days will never be the same again.

“We are very aware that the collision had a huge effect on Hannah, she suffered tremendously.



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“She didn’t do anything on purpose and we think she has suffered enough and will punish herself and has done more than any court conviction ever since.

“My wife and I are supportive of Hannah and look forward to continuing a relationship with her and keeping in touch.”

Mr Bannister said the truck driver contacted the Witness Department to convey his condolences to James’ family and the accused.

The prosecutor said: “He hopes that she recovers from her injuries and wishes her the best of luck for the hearing today and for the future.

“He still has concerns about the incident and is of the opinion that” it was a mistake which had a devastating result. “

The court heard Sisson, 24, of Anne Potter Close, Ockbrook, Derby, who has held a full driver’s license since 2017 and has had no previous convictions except one for speeding , in 2018.

James Varley, mitigating, said: “She didn’t take a risk, she made a mistake and thought she saw a green light, but faced with a full investigation, she accepts that she was wrong.

“That day everyone lost a much loved young man.

“She will have, in the prison of her own mind, this error forever.

“I don’t know what the court can do to punish her more than she will do herself.”

Sisson has since returned to work in adolescent mental health services, the court heard.

During the conviction, recorder Graham Huston said: “You must have misinterpreted the traffic light straight ahead for the right turn signal and actually crossed a red light by mistake.

“You also drove in the path of an oncoming truck, which would have been obvious, due to the speed of the truck it was not going to stop, regardless of the light signal.

“I think you were on autopilot.”

The recorder said of James’ parents: “Their generosity of their feelings towards you is heartwarming and it shows that they understand your feelings as well as theirs.

“They appreciate that you carry this with you for the rest of your life and they think you’ve suffered enough.

“It’s so tragic and sad that through this one momentary gap, the terrible consequences of James’ death arise.

“I accept that you weren’t in a hurry and weren’t worried.

Sisson was placed on a 12 month community order.

She was banned from driving for a year.

The recorder said that although the traffic lights were functioning properly at the scene, he asked the police to review the positioning of the signs at this intersection to determine if improvements could be made.


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