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Bus driver convicted of causing elderly passenger's death by careless driving in a disagreement over the route

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A bus driver has admitted causing the death of an elderly passenger by careless driving after they got into a dispute about the route.

John Childs, 73, died in hospital nine days after suffering a head injury caused by a fall from the bus Christopher Balding was driving in Harlow, a court heard.

On the evening of Friday May 3, 2019, Mr Childs got on the bus unaware that it was rerouted. As a result, he and Balding became involved in a disagreement.

Victim John Childs (53803212)
Victim John Childs (53803212)

Balding opened the door at the first available stop, in Howard Way, Harlow, with the engine still running. The bus moved forwards when he momentarily released the foot brake. Mr Childs lost his footing and fell backwards from the bus, landing on the footpath.

Police officers in a passing vehicle stopped to give him medical assistance before an ambulance took him to hospital.

Detectives from Essex Police's serious collision investigation unit launched an investigation and Balding was voluntarily interviewed.

Mr Childs died in hospital on May 12.

Balding, now 39, of Quarry Spring, Harlow, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on August 5. He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday (Dec 17) and will be sentenced at the same court in five weeks (Fri Jan 21).

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