Jail for driver who fell asleep at wheel

A businessman who caused a head-on collision after falling asleep at the wheel of his car was jailed for 12 months on Monday at Lincoln Crown Court.

James Will, who was working 15-hour days in a bid to get his new gym open, repeatedly drifted onto the wrong side of the road as he travelled from Market Rasen to Boston, forcing oncoming drivers onto the grass verge.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said an off-duty police officer following Will’s Audi TT along the A158 noticed the driver’s head lolling to one side and then witnessed the car ignore the flashing headlights of oncoming vehicles as it drove towards them.

Mr Scott said “Will seemed completely oblivious to what was going on.”

The off-duty officer’s wife rang police and then gave a running commentary to officers as Will’s car went straight through a red traffic light on entering Horncastle before turning onto the A153 forcing another driver to take evasive action when he again went onto the wrong side of the road.

Will’s erratic driving continued along the B1183 and when he reached Revesby five cars were forced onto the verge as he headed towards them on the wrong side of the road.

He eventually crashed into another car on a straight stretch of the B1183 close to the Stickney turn-off.

The other driver, who had gone onto the verge to try to avoid him, escaped with minor injuries.

At the scene Will told a witness “I was supposed to be going out for a meal with my girlfriend but I was too tired but then I changed my mind and decided to go to see her.”

He later told police he had only slept for around three hours the previous evening.

Will, 25, of Happylands Farm, Owersby Moor, near Market Rasen, admitted dangerous driving over an 18 mile stretch of road between Baumber and the scene of the crash.

He was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two years.

Judge John Milmo QC told him “You fell asleep three times on this lengthy journey.

This driving could well have resulted in a multiple pile-up with fatal consequences.

If you drive in this manner again you will end up killing somebody.”

Andrew Cogan, defending, said “This is a man who is beside himself at what he has done. It has been a traumatic time for him.

“He regrets what happened and offers his apologies.

“The gym is virtually ready to be open. It is about a week away. The business is dependant on him being able to attract the necessary clients.”