You Can Kill Your Wife - As Long As You Do It In A Prius

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
you can kill your wife as long as you do it in a prius

On September 19, 2008, William Hippsley, 74, was behind the wheel in the parking lot of a shopping center in Brigg, South Humberside, UK. Outside, his wife Brenda, 69, helped him park his car. Suddenly, Hippsley’s car shot forward, dragged his wife 130ft across the parking lot – and killed her.

The car was a Toyota Prius.

Three months after the incident, Hippsley said in a police interview that the car had lunged forward and that the brake had failed. “But by that time Hippsley, of Searby, Lincs, had heard reports of Prius acceleration problems in the US,” noted the SUN.

Checks on the car by police and Toyota could find no defects. Now finally, Hippsley had his two days in court. Prosecutor Simon Waley blamed an “error committed in panic”. He called the acceleration claim “a measure of psychological self-protection”.

After hearing the case, Judge David Tremberg discharged the jurors from their duties. According to the Scunthorpe Telegraph, the judge told the jury: “The prosecution say this defendant was involved in this tragic accident as a result of his own fault – his own negligence. The defence say this was a case of sudden unintentional acceleration, a concept they say is known to exist.”

Judge Tremberg instructed the jury: “There is a House of Representatives committee in America dealing with this very issue now. We are being drip fed further critical information from America at every adjournment. There is a real danger that you might not be equipped with what you need to deliver a fair verdict.”

The Jury was sent home. Hippsley was released on unconditional bail. The trial is on hold, pending further reports and inspections of Hippsley’s vehicle.

The trial will return to court in six to eight weeks, says the Mirror.

Join the conversation
4 of 27 comments
  • Sinistermisterman Sinistermisterman on Mar 11, 2010

    No offence to the guy, I'm sure he's suffering enough knowing that his wife died due to his own actions... however... I get the feeling that very soon anyone involved in an accident in a Prius will be waving the 'unintended accelerator/no brakes' flag the moment they do something dumb on the road.

  • Accs Accs on Mar 12, 2010

    Bertel Schmitt, Did you watch last night's or the most recent episode of Every thursday a bunch of (semi-well known)car types get together to do a talk show... Longest story short.. They were debating these pius Prius issues. One of the biggest problems they believed is driver error, and that error gets wider when the age rises, 50+. As bad as I feel for this guy and his wife... It could have very well happened...

    • See 1 previous
    • Accs Accs on Mar 12, 2010

      CarPerson: While I do appreciate the link, but it isn't what I was referring to. They do a weekly show, that airs at 7p online. I will do my best to check it out. Included is the link I was referring to:

  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • Scott "It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety "Range Anxiety is a chosen term that conceals as much as it discloses. You don't care about range that much if you can recharge quickly and current BV's (battery vehicles) can't, no matter how good the chargers are. From what I've been reading it is likely that within 5 years there will be batteries in cars, most likely Tesla's, that can charge fast enough with no harm to the batteries to satisfy all of us with no need to increase range beyond a real world 300-ish miles.And that's when I buy one.