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Death crash driver is sent to prison

Thursday, 18th July 2002.

A DRIVER whose aggressive bid at overtaking caused the death of a motorist has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Postal worker Bill Summers, 48, tailgated Renault driver Stefan Corley at 60mph, clipping his car and spinning it across a central reservation into the path of a 17- tonne van, Cambridge Crown Court was told yesterday.

Mr Corley, 29, died in the burning wreckage after a petrol tank ruptured. Death was due to multiple injuries.

Summers, of Dane Common, Kedington, near Haverhill, was on his way to work a night shift in Cambridge when the accident happened at the end of the dual carriageway section of the A1307 near Linton in the early evening of November 21.

Mike Magee, prosecuting, told the court witnesses who Summers had already overtaken described his driving as "aggressive and impatient" and said he had got within half-a-car's length of Mr Corley's while flashing his lights to get him to move over.

But the dual carriageway had run out and there was nowhere for Mr Corley to go. Summers' Escort hit the back of his car, causing him to spin out of control into the opposite carriageway and the path of the van.

Summers told police later he had been driving at about 60mph and conceded he had tried to overtake in a hatched area of the road. He admitted causing Mr Corley's death by dangerous driving and in addition to the prison sentence was banned from the road for five years and ordered to take an extended re-test before he drives again.

Tom Saunt, for Summers, put his client's driving that evening down to "a complete aberration . . . totally out of character."

A charity worker who was highly regarded in the community, Summers had genuine remorse for what he had done, said Mr Saunt, and his greatest punishment would be living with the knowledge that he was responsible for the death of another human being.

Victim's family hope case will be deterrent

THE family of the man killed in the tragedy said the case should serve as a warning to others not to drive aggressively.

Brian Corley, father of crash victim Stefan, said he hoped the case would help to spare other parents the agony his family were enduring.

His son had died unnecessarily because of Summers' "reckless and criminal behaviour", but the family did not criticise the sentence handed out, he said.

"We are here to represent Stefan. We do not want to criticise," Mr Corley added.

Judge Peter Jacobs, expressed his condolences to the family, adding: "Sentencing in these cases is possibly one of the most difficult exercises someone in my position has to carry out. There are no winners."

Stefan's mother, Halina, who was in court with her husband, described her son's death as "a living nightmare".

Stefan, always a careful driver, had started a new job in Haverhill three days before the accident and was buying a property jointly with his sister in Cambourne, she said.

The family, of Dunvegan Way, Bedford, described Stefan as loyal and loving with everything to live for.

They also paid tribute to the police for their help and in particular Pc Steve Gedney, of Bottisham traffic division, who had been a constant source of support.

Haverhill Weekly News

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