Driver of lorry fined £400 for crash that killed two

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The Independent Online

The driver of an articulated lorry which swerved across a central reservation, killing two people and hitting three vehicles, was fined £400 for careless driving yesterday at the Old Bailey.

Christopher Gillett, aged 48, from Harlton in Cambridgeshire, was convicted of driving without due care and attention, but cleared of causing death by dangerous driving. It was alleged during the trial that he had lost concentration and become inattentive at the time of the collision, on 19 October, 1999.

He was ordered by Judge Henry Blacksell to pay £200 towards prosecution costs and his licence was endorsed with four points.

Victims Victor Rodwell, 50, the driver of a van, and his passenger Kelly Tarrant, 24, were powerless to avoid the dairy truck as it came towards them on London's North Circular road, and were killed by the impact, prosecutor John Hillen told the court.

He said: "There is a strong case that he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. He had already worked 14 hours that day."

Tania Debski, the sister of Ms Tarrant, said: "There is no justice. How can two people die and he gets four points and £600 which he will probably not have to pay anyway?"

Gillett's articulated milk lorry had crossed the A406 North Circular road, crashed through the central reservation and struck three vehicles on the opposite carriageway.

Gillett told the court he lost control after swerving to avoid a small object in the road.