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EIGHT MONTHS: Driver jailed after lapse of concentration in Hemel crash

 Published on: 14th January 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

An 84-year-old grandfather driving to a game of golf died after an oncoming car veered across the road and struck his vehicle.

Edward Whittington’s car was then struck by a second car on the road between Redbourn and Hemel Hempstead resulting in him suffering serious injuries from which he died a short while later.

Today the driver who had momentarily lost concentration that morning and allowed his car to cross into the oncoming lane was jailed for eight months at St Albans Crown Court.

Sayad Shah from Leicester pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving early on the morning of September 13 2018.

Judge Richard Foster was told father of three Shah may have been temporarily blinded by the headlights of Mr Whittington’s Vauxhall Astra and, because he was already tired, allowed his car to cross the centre of the road into the path of the car.

The court heard Mr Shah was driving to work at Collins Aerospace in Hemel Hempstead.

He left his home in Leicester earlier that morning for the 80-mile drive south.

Mr Whittington, a fit and active grandfather from Hemel Hempstead was on his way to meet up with friends for a game of golf at Redbourn Golf Club.

Prosecutor Daniel Siong said the crash happened on the B487 Redbourn to Hemel Hempstead Road.

Mr Whittington suffered injuries including fractures to his upper and lower spine as well as internal injuries. 

He was also paralysed from the chest down.

The prosecutor said he was taken to hospital where his condition rapidly deteriorated and he died.

The effect of the impact was for Mr Whittington’s car to turn 90 degrees so that a Proton car following behind Mr Shah’s car then collided head on with driver’s side of the Astra.

The three people in the Proton suffered serious injuries in the crash  including broken bones.

The prosecutor told the court Shah had only had five and half to six hours sleep before setting off for work that morning.

The court was told he had suffered a “momentary lapse” of concentration which had resulted in tragic consequences.

Judge Foster said a partial explantation for what happened was that Shah had veered across to the wrong side of the road having been blinded by oncoming headlights.

He said the obvious inference was that tiredness had then affected his reaction to the situation.

The judge told Shah he would have to live with what happened to Mr Whittington for the rest of his life, jailed him for eight months and banned him from driving for 16 months.

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