A driver has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving after he killed a pensioner in a head-on collision when he fell asleep at the wheel.
Eric Williams, 77, collided head-on into a red Citroen Berlingo being driven by Jackie Lamb, 70, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
An extensive police investigation into the incident on the A64 in North Yorks., concluded Williams had fallen asleep while driving due to tiredness.
The incident occurred at 2.59pm on 31 July 2017 as Williams was driving a black Kia Sportage on the A64 near Scagglethorpe, Ryedale, in the direction of Scarborough where he was staying in a caravan with his wife and grandchildren.
His vehicle failed to negotiate a left-hand bend and veered into the opposite carriageway.
It first collided with a silver Hyundai i20 and then head-on into a red Citroen Berlingo that was heading towards Malton.
Williams, from Dewsbury, West Yorks., was jailed for 20 months at York Crown Court on Feb 1 following a guilty plea.
He was also banned from driving for three years and 10 months and ordered to do an extended driving test.
The Judge described victim Jackie as “vibrant, vital, valued and loved, not just by her family but also by the community”.
Williams had driven from his home to Scarborough with a caravan in tow on 28 July, but had gone back to Dewsbury on 30 July before travelling back to Scarborough on 31 July.
The defendant said he had not slept well prior to driving.
He suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Sergeant Zoe Billings, who led the investigation, said: “This was an unnecessary loss of life caused by the selfish act of Mr Williams driving when he was not in a condition to drive.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right. We can all recite the mantra ‘Don’t drive tired’, but here is a tragic demonstration of the devastation caused when these messages are ignored.
“If you feel tired, whether though lack of sleep or due to medication, the message is clear: Do not drive.
“To do so is to be reckless with your life and those of others. Whatever your age, you have a responsibility to all other road users, to only drive when you are fit to do so.”
Commenting on the heartache suffered by Mrs Lamb’s family, Sgt Billings said: “I thank Jackie’s family for their patience and understanding throughout the investigation.
“Her husband, Norman, and their children Nick and Vicki and their families, have shown enormous strength coping with such an untimely and devastating loss of a much-loved family member.
“No sentence will ever restore Jackie’s life. I only hope her family can find a small measure of comfort knowing that justice has been served.”
Jackie’s family, who have requested that their privacy is respected, released the following statement after the collision: “Jackie was a much-loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, great aunt and friend to many.
“She was a well-known and much-loved figure in Settrington and beyond. She was a founding member of the tennis club and she will be sorely missed for her many unsung acts of social charity.”
by Daniel Sheridan