April 15, 2010

A PENSIONER who killed a pedestrian while driving with an eye disease that left him “virtually blind” was jailed yesterday.

Trevor Knowles, 66, is the first person in Britain to go to prison for causing a fatal crash after developing the age-related eye condition macular degeneration.

He suffered from it in both eyes but continued driving – and hit William Florence, 78, without braking after failing to see the great-grandfather crossing the road.

Knowles said he wept at the roadside after the crash in December 2008. But he was allowed to keep driving as he didn’t tell cops of his illness. Weeks later, he was stopped with his windscreen STILL shattered from the crash – because he hadn’t noticed.

Tests showed he could see barely a few inches in front of his face.

The retired businessman, from Solihull, West Midlands, admitted causing death by careless driving and was jailed for 16 months at Warwick Crown Court.

It is legal to drive with macular degeneration and sufferers do not have to tell the DVLA, but they must be able to read a car number plate from 20.5 metres (67ft). Judge Christopher Hodson told Knowles: “You knew that you had poor eyesight but continued driving.”

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