Whitwell man who caused fatal crash after falling asleep at the wheel is jailed

A Whitwell man who caused a fatal crash after falling asleep at the wheel was today jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 3:36 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:22 am
Brunt has been jailed for 30 months.
Brunt has been jailed for 30 months.

Christopher Brunt had only two hours sleep the previous night after being called away to his seriously ill father's hospital bed.

Simon Ash, prosecuting, said that Brunt, who was holidaying at Cleethorpes with his family, spent the night sleeping in a chair alongside his father at the hospital in Chesterfield before setting off in the morning to rejoin his family on the East Coast.

But he nodded off as he drove along the A631 at Willingham Hill, North Willingham, between Louth and Market Rasen before straying over the centre white line.

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Mr Ash said that Brunt's BMW X3 initially collided with a skip lorry and then struck a Ford Focus which was coming in the opposite direction.

Adam Mohamed, a dentists' receptionist, who was driving the Ford Focus was killed. He was travelling from his home in the Louth area to work in Market Rasen when the collision occurred. He was two weeks away from celebrating his 21st birthday.

Mr Ash told the court "At the time of the collision the weather conditions were clear and dry.

"The accident investigator said the BMW collided with the lorry and the front offside wheel became detached. After that the defendant would have had little if any opportunity to steer.

"The BMW collided with the lorry and then moved further across into the west-bound lane. He then collided with the front of the Ford Focus. The BMW did not seem to take any action to avoid the Focus."

Mr Ash said that the previous day Brunt had been told that his father had been admitted to hospital.

"He set off and spent the night at his father's bed. He only got a couple of hours sleep. On the morning of the collision he set off to rejoin his wife in Cleethorpes."

When Brunt was interviewed by police he said he had no recollection of the collision.

Mr Ash said "He would not admit he had fallen asleep. He showed no remorse."

Adam Mohamed's father Sam Mohamed told the court that the family have been left totally devastated by Adam's death.

He said that Adam had overcome serious health problems earlier in his life and was "perfect" for his job as a dentists' receptionist.

He added "Adam was the kindest, most tolerant person I know."

In a statement directed at Brunt he added "We shall never forgive or forget because your actions have devastated the whole family."

Brunt, 51, of Claylands Place, admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving as a result of the collision on April 8 2015. He was jailed for 30 months and disqualified from driving for three years.

Recorder Gareth Evans QC, passing sentence, told him "You realised you were getting sleepy as you were driving along. You had an alternative. You could have stopped but you decided to drive on . As a result you killed Adam Mohamed.

"I bear in mind that there has been no attempt by you to apologise to the family for robbing them of Adam."

Alison Summers, in mitigation, said Brunt was of previous good character and was himself injured in the collision suffering a fractured sternum and a fractured ankle.

"He is sorry. Such an apology is necessarily inadequate for what he accepts is the complete devastation upon the family and upon the friends of this young man.

"It has taken him some time to come to terms with the fact that he and he alone is responsible for the death. Whatever sentence the court imposes this man will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

"He had spent the previous night at the hospital where his father had been admitted having has a suspected stroke.

"His sleep was limited. That lack of sleep combined with his worry at his dad's condition no doubt caused him to lose concentration and to fall asleep at the wheel."