South Wootton driver, 74, jailed for causing fatal crash when he fell asleep at the wheel

The scales of justice
The scales of justice

An elderly driver has been jailed for eight months for causing a fatal crash when he fell asleep at the wheel.

Keith Brooks, 74, of Ennerdale Drive, South Wootton, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, having previously pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

He was also banned from driving for two years and told he would have to take an extended retest before he can drive again.

And police say the case demonstrates the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel, or driving tired.

Brooks had been driving a grey Nissan Qashqai on the A149 at Dersingham in July last year, when it crossed into the opposite lane and collided head on with a Citroen Picasso.

The front seat passenger in the Picasso, Roy Shinn, 77, died at the scene. His wife, along with Brooks and his passenger, were both injured.

Witnesses reported hearing Brooks say he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

A subsequent collision report there was no mechanical faults with the vehicle and the collision had happened as a result of a period of inattention caused by Brooks falling asleep.

Following the hearing, Steve Matthews, of Norfolk Police’s serious collision investigation team, said: “Just a momentary lapse in concentration while behind the wheel can have devastating consequences, as seen here.

“I would urge all drivers to pay full attention to their journey and if feeling tired take frequent breaks or consider if you need to drive at all.”