Published: 17:44, 27 July 2021
| Updated: 18:28, 27 July 2021
A driver who fell asleep at the wheel and caused a head-on collision which killed her own mother has narrowly avoided jail.
Janet Macey from Cranbrook was driving her mother’s Honda Jazz on the A229 at Hurst Green in Sussex when she drifted into the opposite carriageway and crashed into a Ford Mondeo.
The incident, which happened on February 26 last year, tragically claimed the life of Margaret Skeet, aged 88, from Hawkhurst, who was the front seat passenger in the Honda.
Macey, 65, of Dr Hope’s Road in Cranbrook sustained serious injuries, as did the Ford driver – a 68-year-old man from Heathfield.
While at the scene, Macey told members of the public who came to help that she had suddenly fallen asleep while driving.
She went on to confirm this in her police interview, and was subsequently charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Macey pleaded not guilty and a trial was set, but she later changed her plea to guilty before the trial commenced.
She appeared before Lewes Crown Court yesterday, where she was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
She was also disqualified from driving for 10 years and will be required to take an extended re-test if she wishes to drive again.
DC Kelly Newton, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “As seen by this tragic case, falling asleep at the wheel can be devastating for the driver, any passengers and other road users.
“Any collision that occurs as a result of falling asleep at the wheel is classified as dangerous driving – this is a very serious offence which comes with a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.
“I hope this case serves as a reminder to other motorists to take steps to avoid the same mistakes.”