Hartlepool woman admits causing death of Ethan Owens by careless driving

Ethan Owens.
Ethan Owens.

A woman wept in court as she admitted her part in causing the death of a child.

Zoe Bennison pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ethan Owens by her careless driving during a short plea hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

Flowers, messages and balloons left to Ethan Owens close to where he was knocked down on Marina Way.

Flowers, messages and balloons left to Ethan Owens close to where he was knocked down on Marina Way.

Ethan, nine, was hit by a Range Rover Evoque driven by Bennison in Marina Way, Hartlepool, on February 27.

He suffered injuries to his head, pelvis, and spine, and was treated at the scene before being airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Ethan’s parents Paul Owens and Lisa Cooper kept a bedside vigil, but sadly the youngster’s condition never improved and the decision was taken to switch off his life support system eight days later.

Ethan was a pupil of Jesmond Gardens Primary school, and he lived with his parents and six brothers and sisters in Wharton Terrace.

No details of the circumstances of his death were given in court.

Bennison, 26, of Hylton Close, Hartlepool, admitted causing death by careless driving.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said there would need to be a probation report prepared on Bennison before she can be sentenced.

The judge added: “It is also important that all interested parties have the opportunity to attend the sentencing hearing, if they wish to do so.

“I am not ruling in or out any type of sentence, all options are open.”

Judge Ashurst ordered the case should be heard either by a circuit judge or by The Recorder of Middlesbrough.

Bennison was bailed to return to court to be dealt with on October 6.

She was disqualified from driving immediately. The length of disqualification will be decided when Bennison is sentenced.

Floral tributes to Ethan were left at a pedestrian crossing in Marina Way.

Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects in a funeral service led by Father Graeme Buttery at St Oswald’s Church.

Ethan arrived in a white horse drawn carriage and was carried into the church to the sound of Ed Sheeran’s Castles on the Hill.

A message on a floral tribute from his mum and dad read: “We are heartbroken to have to say goodnight. You gave us nine years of happiness and as your mum and dad we are the proudest ever. Forever in our thoughts, hearts, dreams and memories.”