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Grandmother died after being hit by bus driver on first shift behind the wheel

A 76-year-old grandmother died after being hit by a bus driver on his first shift behind the wheel, a court heard today.

Jay Stolzenberg, 25, crashed his single decker into a parked car just as Glenys Thomas was climbing in.

Credit: CPS

Mrs Thomas was using a walking stick when she was knocked to the floor - and suffered serious fractures as the car was shunted on top of her by the bus.

The court heard bus driver Stolzenberg had only passed his driving test nine months earlier.

He found his bus lane being blocked by the blue Renault - and was urged by an experienced supervisor to "block them in".

But he misjudged the distance and hit the back of his bus into the side of the parked car as Mrs Thomas was climbing in.

The grandmother-of-three was being picked up in Bridgend, South Wales, by her friend's daughter after returning from a trip to Bournemouth.

Mrs Thomas was taken to nearby Princess of Wales Hospital with multiple fractures. But she died three months later due to complications from her injuries.

Prosecutor James Wilson said Stolzenberg's manoeuvre was "careless" - and he should have taken more care knowing pedestrians were standing along the bus lane.

Stolzenberg was driving a large vehicle near a bus stop and near a car park. There were obviously going to be pedestrians coming and going.

He should have exercised care near the vicinity of the bus stop, regardless whether it is a designated spot for a car to park.

He failed to react properly to a stationary car.

It was his responsibility to act in a safe manner, and could have easily avoided the collision which caused the death of Mrs Thomas.

She was a vulnerable road user."

– Prosecutor James Wilson

CCTV from the bus, provided by the Crown Prosecution Service, showed Stolzenberg waiting behind the stationary car - with the rear driver side wheel protruding slightly onto the carriageway.

But he then hits the blue car, knocking over Mrs Thomas.

Stolzenberg was being supervised during his first outing by experienced driver Allan Stent, 52.

Mr Stent was overheard telling Stolzenberg "tough, block them in" after the young driver found his path blocked by the car picking up Mrs Thomas.

Stolzenberg pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

He told police he accepted he hadn't put enough room between his bus and the car, saying: "In hindsight I should gave waited. It would have been safer."

He was set with a set of circumstances which led to these tragic results.

He had expressed his sympathy for the family."

– Richard Ace, defence solicitor

Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins told Stolzenberg Mrs Thomas would still be alive had he waited for oncoming traffic to clear.

This was purely down to your careless driving. You undertook a manoeuvre when it was clearly unsafe to do so.

As a bus driver you should have expressed greater care around the bus stop.

Had Allan Stent said nothing, it very well may have been the case you would have stayed stationary."

– Philip Harris-Jenkins, Judge

Stolzenberg, of Caerau, Maesteg, was sentenced to 27 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work at Newport Crown Court.

He was disqualified from driving for two years and must pass an extended driving test.