Teacher jailed for causing death crash

Wednesday 30th December 2020 5:08 pm
(Photo by Paul Chard / Unsplash )

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A COMBWICH maths teacher whose driving caused the death of a woman recovering from a two-year battle against cancer and who was about to marry ‘the love of her life’, was jailed for 28 weeks at Taunton Crown Court on Monday.

Ian Rowland, 51, who was found guilty of causing death by careless driving, had denied the charge and chose not to give evidence. 

The court was told that Rowland was driving on a country road near Shepton Mallet in April last year when he lost control of his Vauxhall Vectra, which hit the car in which Emma Summerell was travelling.

It was alleged that Rowland lost control after over-steering his car on the B3139 at Emborough and skidded sideways to the wrong side of the road.

Judge Paul Cook was told that Ms Summerell, 44, was about to given the all clear after a two-year battle with cancer and was going to get married to the ‘love of her life’.

She had undergone chemotherapy in a two-year long painful battle with cancer and had been set to be given the all clear.

Her mother, brothers and partner described her as a ‘rock, soul mate, best friend’, and a woman who ‘lit up a room, who always had a smile, a shining star and someone who is now thought about every minute of every day’.

Jailing Rowland for 28 weeks and banning him from driving for a year, Judge Cook said that Rowland’s speed was not safe for the road or the conditions on that day and said that it was ‘more than a momentary lapse of concentration on your part’.

He said Rowland did not give evidence and had not shed any light on what happened to cause a ‘total loss of control of your vehicle’.

Defence barrister Patrick Mason said Rowland was a ‘decent man’ who taught maths and science to children with special educational needs and would lose his job and his home if he was sent to jail.

He said something distracted Rowland and he over-steered his Vauxhall Vectra car which rotated into the path of Ms Summerell’s vehicle.

“It was the last thing he wanted to happen to anyone or himself,” said Mr Mason. He added that Rowland may now be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of the fatal crash.

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