Home   Folkestone   News   Article

'Wrong way' driver admits causing death of motorcyclist on M20 near Ashford

By Paul Hooper

An 86-year-old man who drove the WRONG way along the M20 causing the death of a motorcyclist failed an eye test after the accident.

Leonard Pettifer was at the wheel of his Ford Ka when it struck 60 year old former policeman Michael Copleston, from Hawkinge, on the coastbound carriageway.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the pensioner had been visiting his wife in hospital where he had stayed for eight hours without eating.

Mr Copleston was described as a devoted husband to his wife Pauline of 39 years

Mr Copleston was described as a devoted husband to his wife Pauline of 39 years

He then joined the M20 but realised he needed to go in the opposite direction but instead of exiting at the next junction...just did a ‘U’ turn in the outside carriageway

Pettifer, from Snargate Lane, Snargate, Romney Marsh pleaded guilty to causing the death of devoted husband Mr Copelstonand will now be sentenced in four weeks times.

Judge Heather Norton imposed an immediate driving ban after the pensioner’s appearance at Canterbury Crown Court...noting he had failed an eye test after the accident.

Mr Copleston was a devoted husband to his wife Pauline of 39 years, a father to two and grandfather to four.

The scene of the accident.

The scene of the accident.

He served in the Metropolitan Police for three decades and was an advanced motorcycle and car instructor who trained other officers in road safety.

After the tragic accident his daughter, Donna Clarkson, paid tribute to her father yesterday saying: “He’s left a huge gap in everyone’s lives and will be greatly missed by all. He retired from the police and has worked for the American Embassy as a chauffeur. 

“They have said he was one of the best drivers they had, very knowledgeable and a great guy who was respected by everyone.”

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Live updates

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More