Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

'Blind' driver kills bride-to-be

Natalie Wade
Natalie Wade died five days after being knocked down

A bride-to-be was knocked down and killed by a driver who was blind in one eye, an inquest has heard.

Natalie Wade, 28, of Rochford, Essex, was hit as she used a pelican crossing near her home as she shopped for her wedding dress in February 2006.

Essex Police said 78-year-old John Thorpe had been due to stand trial for causing death by dangerous driving but had died before the case reached court.

The coroner at Thundersley, Essex, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Ms Wade, a hairstylist, died five days after the incident.

Law change

The inquest heard Mr Thorpe, of Hullbridge, Essex, was blind in one eye and had poor sight in the other.

David Gutberlet, 56, Ms Wade's stepfather, said: "We would like to see the law changed as a result of our daughter's death.

"The law should be changed so people like him aren't on the road. He was an accident waiting to happen.

"We want to make it safer for both road users and pedestrians."

Mr Gutberlet said Ms Wade had been shopping for a wedding dress with her mother, Christine, when she was hit. Mrs Gutberlet suffered a broken pelvis in the incident.

Ms Wade had been due to get married to her fiance Darren King on a Greek island in September 2006.

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