Sleeping driver jailed after running down and killing jogger
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A driver who knocked down and killed a jogger after falling asleep at the wheel has been jailed.
Glen Widdowson, aged 48, was returning home from a night shift when he veered onto the wrong side of the road, struck a kerb and hit his victim from behind.
Widdowson had been working as a night manager at a Leicestershire hotel throughout the previous evening.
Aimi McCaffery, a 46-year-old mum-of two, died at the scene of the collision in Cropwell Butler, on the morning of Sunday 15 May 2022.
Mrs McCaffery, described by her family as “a wonderful mother, daughter and loving friend”, was jogging on the correct side of the road and facing the oncoming traffic when she was hit.
Moments before the collision, however, Widdowson was caught on CCTV veering towards the wrong side of the carriageway as he drove along Radcliffe Road and towards Mrs McCaffery.
He then failed to negotiate a slight left-hand bend in the road, mounted a kerb with two wheels and struck her at a speed of around 50mph.
Forensic collision investigators later concluded that he had made no effort to brake prior to the collision.
With no defects noted to the vehicle and no alternative explanation from Widdowson, it was concluded he must have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Several passing motorists stopped ad attempted to resuscitate Mrs McCaffery, but nothing could be done to save Mrs McCaffery’s life.
Widdowson, who was taking his usual route home through country lanes, was not speeding and remained at the scene of the collision.
Investigators also discovered that he had been diagnosed with the condition sleep Apnoea in 2016 – a condition that disrupts sleep and adds to fatigue.
Although he said he couldn’t be sure what happened, Widdowson later pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving on the basis that he fell asleep at the wheel.
Widdowson had been remanded in custody following his plea at an earlier hearing on 31 August.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court today (Tuesday 26 September), Widdowson, of Addington Court, Radcliffe on Trent, was jailed for three years and six months. He was also banned from driving for four years and nine months.
His sentence reflected his earlier guilty plea and his previous good character.
Detective Constable Christopher Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police’s serious collision investigation unit, said:
“This was an utterly tragic incident that robbed a family of a loving mother, wife and friend. Aimi did everything right on that dreadful morning and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time as Widdowson drove home from work.
“As he begins a significant jail sentence, I sincerely hope that other drivers will take note of the potential consequences of falling asleep at the wheel. The act of falling asleep is always considered to be dangerous rather than careless driving and will consequently lead to far more serious sanctions in cases when people lose their lives.
“So, I urge anyone who feels tired behind the wheel pay attention to how they feel, pull over and take an appropriate break. As this case demonstrates, the consequences of not doing this can be devastating.
“Her loss has been felt by her family and across her network of friends, and colleagues in the community charity she ran. Please remember Aimi and do not push yourself to drive any further when you feel tired.”