The heartbroken family of two grandparents killed when their car was hit by an 80-year-old motorist have called for elderly drivers to face retests.

'Careless' Michael Hamburger pulled out directly in front of Roger and Christine Barton despite having an 'unobstructed' 500m view of oncoming traffic, a court heard.

The couple - aged 73 and 75 respectively - suffered 'untimely and violent' deaths when their VW Tiguan rolled onto its side and was pushed into the opposite lane of traffic where it was struck by another car, causing them fatal injuries.

After admitting two counts of death by careless driving, company director Hamburger was banned from driving for three years and handed a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years after a judge ruled he 'should have' seen the Bartons approaching.

At his sentencing at Winchester Crown Court, the couple's children called for a change in the rules, claiming that waiting for drivers to declare their own incapacity is 'not a robust system and endangers the lives of themselves and others'.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Michael Hamburger pulled out directly in front of Roger and Christine Barton Michael Hamburger pulled out directly in front of Roger and Christine Barton (Image: Solent News)

Under current laws, drivers over the age of 70 have to renew their driving licence every three years and state if they are fit to stay on the road. No retest is required.

The court heard Hamburger had complied with the law and - despite two recent cataract operations - had been passed fit to drive before the accident two years ago.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, son Robin Barton said his parents loss was a 'tragedy' and called for tighter driving laws for the elderly.

"We are a close family and Mum and Dad were my best friends," he said.

"As well as what we lost that day, I'm struck by what my parents lost - 2023 would have been their 50th wedding anniversary and they should have enjoyed many more years together.

"The privilege of driving should be more tightly regulated with more regular retests."

His sister, Georgina Abbott, echoed these wishes and said she had been left with a 'deep and permanent sadness' since the tragic day.

"I'd like to see something change," she said. "I think we should all be retested at a certain age.

"Relying on a driver to declare their incapacity just isn't a robust system and endangers the lives of themselves and others."

Prosecutor Russell Pyne told the court the crash took place on the afternoon of January 7, 2022, on the B3006 between Alton and Selborne, where the couple lived.

"Christine Barton and Roger Barton died together as a result of this defendant's careless driving," he said.

"It was a clear and overcast winter day and dry at the time of collision.

"He had been to an auction house at Norton Farm where the entrance is directly onto the [road]."

Mr Pyne said Hamburger, of Chawton in Alton, was seen leaving the area in his VW Golf in an 'appropriate fashion' while 'not in any great deal haste'.

"When he got to the road, he intended to turn left and indicated to do so," he continued.

"Despite the fact Mr and Mrs Barton must have been clearly visible to his right, he pulled out...directly and immediately into their path.

"He either didn't see their approach at all, or wholly failed to judge how soon they would reach that junction."

The court heard Mr Barton was driving, with Mrs Barton in the passenger seat of their car.

"As a result of the defendant pulling out, the Tiguan collided with the front of the defendant's Golf," he added.

This caused the Bartons' car to 'roll over' onto its right-hand side and roof diagonally into the opposing lane of traffic.

The court heard the driver of a silver Mazda 2 Tamura had 'no time to take any evasive action whatsoever' and ploughed straight into the Bartons.

"There was a substantial collision between the windscreen and the front of the Mazda, causing immediate fatal injuries to Mr and Mrs Barton," Mr Pyne said.

The court heard when spoken to at the scene, Hamburger said he had been aware of a car 'coming down like a bat out of hell'.

However, crime scene analysis found a driver positioned at the junction would have an 'unobstructed view' of 500m to the right and Mr Pyne said could 'easily' have spotted the Bartons who were 'clearly there to be seen'.

In mitigation, Rupert Hallowes said businessman Hamburger was 'struggling to come to terms' with the fact he hadn't seen the oncoming vehicle and could offer no explanation as to why it had happened.

"He failed to see that vehicle," he said.

"One will never quite know what it was to cause this defendant to fail to the extent he did.

"He had been passed as fit to drive - and has complied in every conceivable way with the law of the land.

"It is an absolute tragedy what occurred on that day and this defendant will have to live with the consequences until his own dying day."

In a remorseful letter which was read to the court, Hamburger said: "I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for my part in the tragic accident which took place resulting in devastating consequences.

"I'm very much aware that my actions caused the death of two innocent people whose lives were cut overwhelmingly short and I have an overwhelming sense of guilt."

Addressing Hamburger, Judge Angela Morris said: "The VW Tiguan was there to be seen by you and should have been clearly visible on your right if you had been exercising all due regard to the road at the time.

"You are absolutely correct when you say that Mr and Mrs Barton were the innocent people in this tragedy and met an untimely and violent death.

"They were clearly adoring and adored parents.

"These were two hard working, generous and caring individuals who loved their children and cherished their grandchildren.

"Their loss continues to be felt deeply by all the family.

"There is no sentence which can reflect the value of human life and this sentence should not be regarded as such."

She also described Hamburger as a man of 'impeccable good character' and took account of his letter of 'deep remorse'.

He was handed a sentence of 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, banned for driving for three years and warned 'only if you pass an extended driving test would you ever be allowed to drive again'.

Hamburger must also pay costs of £656.