Metheringham

Van driver jailed after elderly couple killed in B1188 Metheringham crash

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A delivery driver who caused a head-on collision which killed a Woodhall Spa couple has been jailed for two years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Michael Boothman entered a right hand bend too fast on the B1188 at Metheringham, and went onto the opposite carriageway where he collided head on with an oncoming Lexus.

The Lexus driver Brian Dickinson, an 82 year old farmer, and his wife Ruth, 77, a retired nurse both lost their lives as a result of the collision.

Boothman, 38, of Kirkstall, Leeds, admitted two charges of causing death by careless driving as a result of the incident on January 11 this year.

He was banned from driving for three years and ordered to pass a re-test before he can have his licence back.

Clive Stockwell, prosecuting, told the court that in the minutes leading up to the fatal crash Boothman appeared not to be fully concentrating on his driving.

He said Boothman ate a snack of a sandwich and crisps while continuing to drive and appeared to not be fully concentrating as he was driving with one hand on the steering wheel.

Boothman and his passenger Robert Fagg, were both seriously injured. Neither was wearing a seat belt at the time.

Boothman, 38, of Kirkstall, Leeds, admitted two charges of causing death by careless driving as a result of the incident on the morning of January 11 this year.

Mr Stockwell, prosecuting, said that Boothman was exceeding the 50 mph limit for the road shortly before the bend but then dropped his speed to 40 mph and began to brake heavily.

He told the court that the weather at the time was dull and the road surface was wet as a result of rain.

“He took the bend too fast in respect of the road conditions that prevailed at the time.

“His vehicle veered to the left and in an effort to correct it he over-compensated with the result that his lorry crossed the centre line and headed towards oncoming traffic.

“This was an accident waiting to happen. The Dickinsons were travelling in the opposite direction.

“Mr and Mrs Dickinson did not stand a chance. They did not have any opportunity to take evasive action.”

Mrs Dickinson was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband was airlifted to hospital in Nottingham where he passed away three days later.

Lynn Richardson, one of the couple’s two daughters, said:

“I don’t think a day has passed when I haven’t shed a tear. It should never have happened and my life will never be the same again.”

James Leonard, for Boothman, said his client suffered significant injuries himself and has since had to have a total hip replacement.

He said Boothman has since shown genuine remorse and an immediate jail sentence would have a serious impact on his family.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told Boothman: “You simply took the bend too fast and your vehicle went into the oncoming carriageway. Mr Dickinson was driving perfectly properly and had no chance to avoid a collision.

“There are a number of aggravating factors in this case. The first is the fact that there were two deaths caused by your careless driving.

“Secondly there are the serious injuries caused to Mr Fagg and then there is the fact that you were smoking at the time.

“In these circumstances that was unlawful. It was illegal but also it was in breach of your company’s policy. Their policy was that drivers should not smoke while driving so as to avoid distraction.”