Council driver on death charge

Allison Rodger, 44, from Great Lumley, who died last May after she was knocked down by a council van.
Allison Rodger, 44, from Great Lumley, who died last May after she was knocked down by a council van.
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A WORKER from Durham County Council has admitted causing the death of a carer in a road crash.

Driver Gavin Simon Spoors pleaded guilty to causing the death of Allison Rodger by careless driving when he appeared in court on Friday.

The 24-year-old, from Cathedral View, Newbottle, was warned he will face custody by Judge Christopher Prince.

The case at Durham Crown Court was adjourned for sentence on Friday, July 8, and Spoors was released on bail until his next appearance.

The incident happened on Front Street, Chester-le-Street, almost a year to the day of Spoors’s plea.

The worker had been driving a flatbed Ford Transit when Ms Rodger, of Swale Crescent, Great Lumley, was struck as she walked down the crowded street.

At the time, accident investigators said the white van had been collecting rubbish from the street’s litter bins.

It was being driven up the hill and had pulled past the bus stop, opposite Boots, when the driver stopped to allow a passenger to collect refuse from one of the containers.

Spoors was treated for shock and his 34-year-old colleague, from Great Lumley, was uninjured.

Ms Rodger, who worked at St Mary’s Nursing Home in Chester-le-Street, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where she was pronounced dead.

Following the tragedy, her five sisters paid tribute to the 44-year-old carer, who was nicknamed Little Al, and her dedication to her job.

They said: “She cared 100 per cent for all she loved and gave everything in all she did.

“She loved clothes, jewellery and going out with her friends and having a good time.

“She especially loved her great niece and nephew Lily and Ellis.

“If everyone else was OK, then so was Ali.”