Trial underway as man denies causing mum of five’s death in Wigan car smash

Joanne Bailey-Collinge
Joanne Bailey-Collinge

The trial of a man accused of killing a mum of five in an horrific car crash got under way this week at crown court.

Lewis Fisher denies causing the death of Joanne Bailey-Collinge on April 20 this year.

Mrs Bailey-Collinge, 34, was fatally injured when the Volkswagen Polo she was driving collided with a VW Amarok and a Mercedes C220 Saloon on Bickershaw Lane.

Police and ambulance services attended but sadly Mrs Bailey-Collinge later died, despite the efforts of medical staff.

Her passengers - her husband and children - were also hurt, two of them badly. Police at the time said a 13-year-old girl, a 29-year-old man were taken to hospital with serious injuries, as well as a four-year-old girl with less serious injuries.

The driver and occupants of the Amarok failed to stop at the scene and the car was later found abandoned on Bolton House Road.

Detectives established that they had escaped the scene by forcing another motorist to drive them away.

On Monday at Manchester Crown Court, 21-year-old Fisher, of Poolstock Lane, faced a judge and jury for the first time.

As well as causing death by dangerous driving, he denies further charges of causing death whilst driving without a license, as well as two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Two other men have admitted their roles in the deadly crash and are awaiting their sentence.

Joseph Pownall, 27, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Another man, 42-year-old Steven Fairclough, of no fixed address, admitted to perverting the course of justice in the aftermath of the incident.

Both will sentenced following the conclusion of Fisher’s trial.

Police had arrested several people during a fast-paced investigation, resulting in charges being brought against a total of six people.

The other three who were charged in connection with the incident later had their charges discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Leon Kenny and Kyle Doherty, both 28, had both been charged with kidnap while Harley Greenwood was accused of assisting an offender. They have since been told they will face no further action.

The incident was a tragedy that shook the community, taking place on a road that many residents had deemed a danger hotspot for a long time before Mrs Bailey-Collinge’s death.

In the weeks that followed, family and friends came together for a heartwarming fund-raising day in her memory at The Bucks Head in Abram.

There was fun for all the family with singers, a bouncy castle, raffles prizes and a balloon release, all to support her family and children following their bereavement.