JCB driver jailed for causing death under influence

A 24-year-old JCB driver, who killed a scooter driver as he exited a construction site under the influence of drugs, has been jailed for three and a half years.

On May 21, 2020, Joshua Whittaker (pictured right) was driving a JCB telecaster and reversed into Dr Anthony Hindle, 79 (pictured left), a retired lecturer at Lancaster University, who was driving his Suzuki scooter on Hollins Lane, Forton.

The JCB’s steel bucket collided with Hindle’s scooter, and he was ejected and rolled across the roadway. He died of his injuries at the scene of the Lancashire site.

Whittaker, then 22, was arrested and later charged with causing death by driving without care or consideration, while tests also revealed cocaine in his system.

On 4 March 2022, Preston Crown Court heard the case against Whittaker.

Whittaker, of Higher Lane, Scorton, pleaded guilty. He was jailed for 42 months and banned from driving for five years.

Lancashire Constabulary Serious Collision Investigation Unit Sergeant Martin Wilcock described Whittaker’s actions as “reckless”.

Wilcock added: “My thoughts today are with Dr Hindle’s loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy, and I hope today’s grief will both give them a sense of comfort and serve warning others of the dire consequences that can result from driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Local journal Lancashire Livand said Whittaker was using the JCB to collect cement for the construction site when the fatal collision took place.

In 2016, a study by the Considerate Constructors Scheme found that one in three construction workers had seen someone under the influence of drugs on the job site. The study found that around 65% of workers had never been tested for drugs and alcohol, while a quarter said they were tired at work due to the effects of drugs or alcohol.

NC reported how the in-place app problem persisted.

Alice F. Ponder