Pensioner had double leg amputation after being dragged under bus when driver refused entry

A pensioner had a double leg amputation after she was dragged under a double-decker bus when the driver closed the doors on her and pulled away.

Joan Scott, then 83, was trying to get on the bus in North Tyneside in September 2021 when the driver, Scott Cliff, shut the doors and drove off.

He did not know her walking stick was trapped in the bus door, causing her to be dragged under the tyres and resulting in catastrophic injuries to her legs.

One had to be amputated at the scene and the other in hospital.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Cliff mistakenly believed the grandmother-of-three had previously tried to ride the bus without a bus pass, which is why he closed the doors on her.

Northumbria Police said Cliff, 49, from Lindisfarne Road in Hebburn, South Tyneside, was jailed for 27 months after he admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The plea was on the basis he did not realise Ms Scott’s walking stick was in the bus doors when he pulled away, and he would not have done so had he seen it.

Bus driver Scott Cliff

Image: Bus driver Scott Cliff

‘Trapped in a broken body’

Ms Scott’s relatives urged people to show more compassion for the elderly.

Her son Brian said: “I feel that the driver of the bus has, on that day, taken my mother – taken the head of my family – in such a shocking way.

“She is trapped in a broken body caused single-handedly by the actions of one person.

“Mr Cliff held a position to help and protect the vulnerable by providing a place of safety on the bus.

“But he didn’t do that for my mother and that kills me.

“This was so avoidable had Mr Cliff shown more compassion and consideration to my mother.

“He has destroyed our family – and [I] hope this horrendous incident makes other drivers of all vehicles sit up and take note.”

‘How could someone do that?’

Her grandson Jack said: “My grandma is no longer herself in any way, shape or form.”

Granddaughter Sarah added: “The bus driver didn’t even give her the chance to present the bus pass she had with her, all because he thought he recognised her as not previously paying a fare or having a bus pass she had with her.

“He decided to deny her entry on the bus and chose to close the doors in her face.

“How could someone do that? She is in her 80s, and she meant no harm.”

After the hearing, Pc Catherine Lloyd, who led the investigation, said: “There is no doubt that Cliff’s actions have destroyed more than one life forever, and it should act as a harrowing reminder to everyone as to what can happen if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle and act carelessly, dangerously or without due consideration to others.”

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