Pensioner left with broken neck after bus fall appeals for witnesses

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Pensioner left with broken neck after bus fall appeals for witnesses

31st July 2013

A Northampton pensioner who broke her neck when the bus she was travelling on braked sharply, is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Gwendoline Sinnott, 86, was thrown from her seat and left semi-conscious on the floor following the incident last year. The grandmother, who lives in Duston, had been sitting at the front of a number 9A bus on her way home from playing bingo at around 3.45 in the afternoon of Friday, 4 May 2012.

“We were driving down Bants Lane and approaching the junction with Main Road, Duston,” said Mrs Sinnott. “When the traffic lights changed from green to amber, the bus driver accelerated to try and beat the lights.

“But when the car in front of us stopped at the junction, the bus driver had to slam his brakes on to avoid a collision. When the bus jerked to a stop, I was thrown forward out of my seat and banged my head really hard against the metal bar in front of me.

“After hitting my head I fell to the floor,” added Mrs Sinnott. “I’m not sure if I was fully conscious but I certainly remember the pain in my head and neck. The bus driver didn’t know what had happened and continued driving, but thankfully a gentleman passenger shouted that I was hurt and the driver pulled the bus over.

“My forehead was bleeding quite badly and when two ladies came to help me, one of them very kindly took off her top to use as a bandage for my head,” said Mrs Sinnott.

Mrs Sinnott was taken to Northampton General Hospital by ambulance, where doctors determined she had sustained a broken neck. She also had to have a number of stitches in her forehead and her nose.

Harvinder Kaur, a specialist road traffic accident lawyer at Fentons Solicitors LLP, who is representing Mrs Sinnott, said her client was discharged from hospital 10 days later with her neck in a brace.

“Mrs Sinnott lives alone and when she was discharged from hospital her daughter came over from Spain where she lives to look after her,” said Ms Kaur. “Over the next four months, she continued to wear her neck brace and received regular visits from her son, daughters and granddaughters who helped with everything she wasn’t able to do for herself.

“My client was lucky she wasn’t more severely injured as the speed at which the bus was travelling was clearly fast enough to launch her from her seat,” she added. “As a result of the accident, my client’s neck remains painful and her balance has been severely affected – she has difficulty getting around without assistance and has lost some of her independence as a result.”

Ms Kaur said in order to secure Mrs Sinnott the help and care she needs to aid her recovery, she needs to put together exactly what happened in the run-up to the incident. “We are particularly keen to determine how much of a gap there was between the bus and the vehicle in front, which stopped at the traffic lights,” said Ms Kaur.

“There were quite a lot of people on the bus and it was quite busy when the ambulance arrived. If anyone was on the same number 9A bus, or was travelling on Bants Lane that afternoon and saw what happened, I would urge them to please get in touch.”

Can you help?If you remember seeing the incident on Bants Lane, Northampton at around 3:45pm on Friday 4 May 2012, please contact Harvinder Kaur at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0844 854 3181 or e-mail All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, and any detail could be hugely important to this case.