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Driver kills OAP in panic after spider drops in lap; Doc swerved across road.

Byline: ADAM ASPINALL

A TERRIFIED doctor killed a man of 87 when a spider landed on her as she drove to work in her sports car.

Arachnophobic Amy Walpole, 38, was sent into a "blind panic", the court heard, after the creepy crawly dropped into her lap in her red Mazda MX-5.

The GP was seen waving her arms frantically before drifting across the road at around 9am and crashing into the oncoming car of pensioner John Evans.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard Jones said: "Walpole gave an explanation a spider had dropped from the sun visor, landing in her lap.

"She has a fear of spiders and tried to throw it out of the window.

"With a loss of concentration she drifted across the road causing the collision."

The court heard Mr Evans suffered fractures and heart damage. He walked from his Suzuki Alto to an ambulance but died the next day.

John Allchurch, defending, said Walpole had arachnophobia. He added: "It was a large spider which she was terrified of and tried to flick out the window."

The GP, of Penymynydd, near Llanelli, South Wales, admitted causing death by careless driving. Mr Evans' family asked for lenience because of her "good reputation" as a GP.

At Llanelli magistrates' court, Judge David Powells sentenced Walpole to 80 hours' community service for the "tragic accident".

He told her: "The witness account of seeing arms waving around was consistent with what you had said."

He said no aggravating circumstances, such as irresponsible driving, had led to the crash in November 2013 on the B4317 in Carmarthenshire.

He told the court: "None of those factors come into play here. This is not a case for prison."

Walpole, who works at Meddygfa'r Sarn surgery, near her home, was also banned from driving for 12 months and told to pay court costs of PS85 and a PS60 victim surcharge.

adam.aspinall@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

VEHICLE Mazda MX-5 like Walpole's

BLIND PANIC GP Walpole is terrified of spiders

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2015
Words:333
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