Sheffield driver cleared of causing Mother Day’s death of Doncaster biker through carelessness

The A170 road close to the where the fatal crash happened (Google Street View image)
The A170 road close to the where the fatal crash happened (Google Street View image)

A Sheffield motorist has been cleared of causing the death of a Doncaster woman through careless driving in a tragic Mother’s Day collision.

The trial of Jonathan Stokes, 49, from Westwick Crescent, Greenhill, collapsed at York Crown Court after just one day.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided to offer no further evidence as it became increasingly clear that Mr Stokes was not to blame for the accident near Pickering which claimed the life of 55-year-old Linda Quantrill on Mother’s Day last year, March 30.

Mrs Quantrill, who was originally from Blaxton but later moved to Scarborough, was riding pillion on a Kawasaki motorcycle ridden by her husband Stephen Quantrill, 64, when it was in collision with Mr Stokes’ Land Rover Discovery as it pulled onto the A170 in the village of Sinnington, on the edge of the North York Moors.

Mr Quantrill suffered multiple serious injuries, including broken bones and severe breathing difficulties. He spent 17 weeks in hospital but survived.

Crown prosecutor Sam Andrews initially claimed that Mr Stokes had been careless in failing to take notice of the oncoming Kawasaki as it pulled out of the junction, turning left and then right, as Mr Quantrill tried to swerve around the vehicle.

But on the second day of the trial, he said the Crown would be offering no further evidence after hearing expert accident analysis from two police traffic officers.

Mr Stokes was formally acquitted by the jury after receiving directions from judge Stephen Ashurst.

Judge Ashurst said there had been an ‘extremely thorough’ investigation by two experienced traffic officers and, as a result, the likely outcome of the jury’s verdict would ‘only have prolonged the agony of the families involved’.

Mr Quantrill, an experienced biker and lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, said he and his wife went on the motorcycle journey around the county’s beauty spots partly because she wanted to see spring daffodils in bloom.

Mr Stokes’ wife, two young children and in-laws were travelling in the Land Rover at the time of the accident after the family had been for Sunday lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day in Sinnington.