Maida Vale pensioner died after being thrown from Age Concern minibus

Age Concern were fined �10,000

A pensioner died in a horrific crash after Age Concern employees failed to secure her in their minibus, a court heard.

Olive Sarti, 88, from Maida Vale, suffered a broken neck and head injuries after the road smash in Shirland Road, Maida Vale, in 2006.

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard how untrained staff at Age Concern Westminster had failed to secure Ms Sarti in her wheelchair.

An investigation found that the minibus driver had performed an emergency stop which led to Ms Sarti being hurled from her wheelchair.

The elderly lady was taken to hospital where she died two months later.

The post mortem found the injuries sustained during the crash were a contributing factor to her death.

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Age Concern’s Westminster branch last month pleaded guilty to a single charge of breaching its duty to avoid exposing its passengers to health and safety risks.

It was fined �10,000 and ordered to pay costs of �5,000.

HSE Inspector Michael La Rose said: “This fatal incident was foreseeable. There was MHRA guidance easily available to Age Concern Westminster on how to transport wheelchair users safely.

“This organisation fell well below expected standards and Olive Sarti’s death could have been avoided if Age Concern Westminster workers had received adequate training.”

“The seatbelt laws have long been established in British law. Age Concern was aware that people transported in wheelchairs should have these effectively secured and the wheel chair user should have an adequate seatbelt.