Dangerous driver jailed after killing 82-year-old grandmother in 100mph crash in Rochdale
Date published: 15 November 2023
Photo: Greater Manchester Police
A dangerous driver from Rochdale has been jailed after a fatal collision killed an 82-year-old grandmother and injured three more passengers.
Trent Simm, 25 – who had been speeding in excess of 100mph in a 30 zone when he killed Doris Bridgehouse in May 2022 – was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in prison and disqualified from driving for five years to commence when released from prison. He appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court on Tuesday (14 November).
Simm had been driving an Audi S3 at excessive speed along Halifax Road in Rochdale on 13 May 2022 when he lost control on a nearside bend; his car then crossed over onto the opposing carriageway and collided head-on with a Kia Venga motor vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
Emergency services provided first aid to the three occupants of the Kia, including its driver Doris Bridgehouse, and two occupants of the Audi.
Despite their best efforts, Doris was pronounced dead at the scene.
Simm was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
The court heard how Doris was out that evening visiting her grandson’s university showcase. Doris had driven her daughter and grandson to university for this special occasion.
At the conclusion of the special event, Doris drove her daughter and grandson back home and was driving along Halifax Road. CCTV evidence shows the Kia was travelling at an average speed of 27 mph.
Evidence gathered from CCTV and the Audi S3 demonstrated that Simm had been driving at excessive speeds for a prolonged period as he travelled along Halifax Road towards Rochdale. Some 200 metres prior to the collision, the Audi S3 was travelling around 112 mph.
Moments before the collision, Simm increased his speed to 118mph on the 30mph road. As the Audi S3 entered the left-hand bend, Forensic Collision Reconstruction Experts confirmed a loss of control was inevitable.
The Audi S3 crossed over onto the wrong side of the carriageway and collided head-on with the Kia Venga. Forensic Collision Reconstruction Expert, PS Lister, concludes the impact speed was in excess of 100 mph.
When officers initially spoke to Simm, he claimed “the pedals got stuck, and I’ve come round the corner on the wrong side of the road.”
Passengers from both vehicles were taken to hospital and sustained serious injuries as a result of this collision.
Simm was charged in August 2023 with one count of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and pleaded guilty in October 2023.
At court, Doris’s daughter – Amanda - read a statement to the court and defendant which highlighted that the collision, caused by Simm's reckless driving at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour speed limit, resulted in severe injuries for her and emotional trauma for the rest of her family.
Doris Bridgehouse, a beloved nurse and cherished family member, was described as a ‘vibrant and kind’ individual.
Amanda - an only child - expressed the profound impact of losing her mother, highlighting the ongoing struggles with grief, memory loss, and the physical and emotional toll of the accident.
Her life has been dramatically altered, both personally and professionally, as she copes with the aftermath of the collision. The statement concluded with Amanda addressing Simm directly, underscoring the gravity of his actions and the devastating repercussions on both families.
She expressed her hope that Simm will 'bear the weight of the consequences for the rest of his life', as they all grapple with the irreparable damage caused by the collision.
Amanda said: “It has changed my family and I forever, given my son Max the most dreadful, shocking, and incomprehensible memories and had a catastrophic impact on both my sons lives.
“You have robbed me and my sons of ‘goodbye’ to Mum and Nan and me of being the Mum that I want to be to my sons right now. This is very difficult, and you are going to have to live with your actions for the rest of your life.
“As much as you have destroyed the dynamics of our family, I think that you have also destroyed a part of your own and your family’s. I do not feel sorry for you at all; driving at those speeds you are liable to kill someone, and you did.
“So, actions have consequences and here we are. Rest in peace, Mum.”
Sergeant Louise Warhurst, from GMP’S Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “What had started out as a special celebratory occasion for Doris and her family ended in tragedy when through no fault of her own, she encountered Trent Simm driving his Audi S3 at manifestly dangerous speeds.
“Trent Simm was treating the public highway as his personal racetrack, reaching astonishing speeds of 118mph in a 30mph residential area. He had no regard whatsoever for the safety of all other members of the public using the roads in Rochdale that evening.
“I would like to thank all the members of the public that tried to assist Doris and her family at the scene of this collision and everyone that came forward to assist the police with their investigation.
“I would like to thank the family, friends and loved ones of Doris, who have conducted themselves with dignity throughout this investigation.
“I would also like to remind those who think they can ignore the speed limit to think twice before using their car at high speeds. Your actions can devastate innocent members of the public in a split second and no one deserves to lose a loved one this way.
“Dangerous drivers will not be tolerated in our communities. Greater Manchester Police will deal with them robustly to keep people safe from illegal and irresponsible drivers.”
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