Man found guilty of causing deaths on M11 near Harlow

Crime / Sun 30th Apr 2017 at 10:31am

A man has been found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Friday, April 28, 2017, of causing two deaths and injuring two others in a road traffic collision. The case has been adjourned until Friday, June 2 for sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Roger Sharratt, 52, a lorry driver of Bagots Oak, Staffordshire, pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after his lorry was involved in a collision on May 15, 2014.

He was driving a Man rigid lorry and drawbar goods vehicle, northbound along the M11, when he collided with the back of a black Jaguar XF. This then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a white Mercedes 1833 horsebox. The Toyota burst into flames and further collided with a white Vauxhall Combo van.

Both occupants of the Toyota, Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed.

The two occupants of the Jaguar XF suffered concussion, cuts and bruises. One of the horses suffered serious injury and a pony travelling with them died.

The court heard that Sharratt was driving at 55mph using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic as he was likely to have been asleep. He was sleep deprived having only slept for three to four hours the night before and was suffering from a sleep apnoea syndrome.

Senior Investigating Officer DI Scott Egerton said, “Although this has been a complex case involving medical experts, Mr Sharratt drove dangerously. He was in charge of a heavy good vehicle and fell asleep. His actions tragically caused the death of Geoffrey and Eleanor Mills. This case must serve as a warning to all drivers of the need to rest and take breaks when driving long distances. Mr Sharratt failed to do this and caused the most serious of crashes. Our thoughts go out to the Mills family.”

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