A truck driver has been sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment after appearing at Warwick Crown Court in March, charged with Causing Death by Dangerous Driving.
The driver – forty-four-year-old Malcolm Joseph Clarkson from Cat Tail Lane, Southport – has also been banned from driving for six years and nine months with an extended retest.
Clarkson had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on in January.
Scott McConnell of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, who was 26 years’ old at the time, died when the white Scania being driven by Clarkson drove into the back of his silver Volkswagen at 22.16 hours on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 on the M40 Junction 12 to 13 northbound, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
The collision involved four vehicles and occurred in two stages, starting when a Peugeot Partner van collided with the back of an MAN truck in lane one of the M40. The Peugeot was left damaged in lane one and the MAN pulled up onto the hard shoulder ahead to await assistance.
Scott McConnell was driving his Volkswagen when he came across the scene and stopped behind the Peugeot, straddling the hard shoulder and lane one. Scott then sat in the front of his car and called the emergency services, and was on the phone to a Warwickshire Police call handler when his car was struck from behind by Malcolm Clarkson’s Scania.
Scott suffered fatal injuries during the collision and the Peugeot driver, who was believed to have been stood on the hard shoulder, suffered serious injuries including a fracture to his shoulder as well as cuts and bruises.
Police arrived at the scene and officers performed CPR on Scott until paramedics arrived. Scott did not regain consciousness and died the following morning in hospital.
Speaking after the sentence, PSI Liam Ryan said: “This is a particularly tragic case as Scott was trying to protect another driver when he was killed.
“The collision occurred when Malcolm Clarkson had just finished speaking to his mum on the hands-free system in the cab. The Forensic Collision Investigation report concluded the Scania braked just 24 m or one second prior to the impact. There is no doubt that being on the phone hands-free moments before the collision distracted Clarkson to the extent he was unable to react to the road ahead, as he was not giving it his full attention.
“This had fatal consequences for Scott, a young promising adult who was doing what he could to help another road user.”