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Friday, June 19, 2009

San Franciscan Pleads Guilty in U.K. 'Inconsiderate' Driving Death

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM

We've all been there. Our plane lands in Thailand, or England, or New Zealand, or any of the other 73 countries where people insist on driving on the left side of the street, and we rent a car. Then we get a crash (er, hopefully not crash) course in reversing everything we've ever known about driving. More often than not, we adjust. Maybe have a close call. But all ends well, and we fly home and tell our friends, "those crazy (insert nationality) and their left-side driving."

For San Franciscan Martyn Crew, things didn't work out that way. On Christmas Day of 2008, Crew, 52, was fresh off a trans-Atlantic flight to England. Driving a car about 125 miles north of London, Crew veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit 21-year-old Natasha Jackson head-on. She died.

In British court on Friday, Crew pleaded guilty to "careless or inconsiderate" driving. Crew, who has lived in the United States for about 20 years, will face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to the Associated Press report.  

The AP report also notes that Crew is certainly not the first traveler to cause a fatal accident on unfamiliar, ass-backward roads. In fact, actor Matthew Broderick caused a crash in Northern Ireland in 1987 that killed a mother and daughter. He was said to have been driving on the wrong side of the road, and was fined $175.

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Ashley Harrell


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