A man has been sentenced in relation to a fatal collision on the M6, near Sproston, in 2014.
Gareth George Morris was found guilty of Death by Careless Driving following a trial at Chester Crown Court. Yesterday, Monday 1st August, he was handed a 12 month community supervision order, ordered to work 250 hours unpaid work in the community and 2 year driving disqualification.
Clark Greenwood died following a two vehicle collision on the M6 northbound between junction 17, Sandbach, and 18, Middlewich Saturday 14th June 2014.
Clark, his son and a family friend had been out for the day with Morris at a British Stock Car Championship in Birmingham. The event had finished at around 9.30pm and the trio headed back to their homes in Aston-under-Lyne in a silver Ford Focus.
The Focus was being driven by Morris and Clark was sat in the front passenger seat, whist Clark’s son and their friend were both sat on the back seats.
As the group travelled on the M6 through Cheshire at approximately 10.20pm they collided with a stationary Blue Mercedes Benz which had broken down in the middle lane of the M6 just north of Sandbach.
At the point of impact officers estimate that Morris was travelling at between 57mph and 63mph, this was despite the fact that there were warning lights flashing advising drivers to travel at a maximum of 50mph due to the broken down vehicle.
Officers from Cheshire Police attended the scene along with paramedics and Clark was taken to the North Staffordshire University Hospital. Sadly, despite the best efforts of staff at the hospital, doctors were unable to save Clark and he passed away on Sunday 15th June.
Following the collision officers from the Cheshire Roads Policing team undertook a full investigation and on 28th June 2015 Morris was summoned to appear at court where he was charged with Death by Careless Driving.
Roads Policing Officer Geraint Williams said: “I hope that other drivers see this incident as a warning that the advisory speeds limits that are used on out motorway network on a daily basis are there for a reason, and should not simply be ignored.”
In his summing up His Honour Judge Rodger Dutton said: “You were convicted on plain evidence of causing the death of a close friend, Clark Greenwood by careless driving.
“Responsibility does largely lie on your shoulders whether you accept it or not. You were travelling in excess of the 50 mph advisory speed limit set by more than one matrix sign.
“There was a clear lack of attention displayed by you at the critical moment of this incident. The consequences of that lack of concentration were devastating”.
After the sentencing Clark’s family released the following statement: “It isn’t possible to put into words how difficult the last two years have been for us all to deal with. We all thought the world of dad and we all know that he thought the world of us.
“After so much time has passed we don’t have any bad feelings towards Gareth Morris, he was dad’s friend and someone that dad enjoyed spending his time with. Both dad and Gareth enjoyed stock car racing and they were on their way back from a race meeting when this collision occurred.
“We understand that Gareth must receive a sentence for the errors he made while driving on the M6 motorway that night in June 2014. Nobody wins in a case such as this, everyone is a loser, we’ve lost a fabulous father, grandfather, brother and uncle and of course Gareth and many other people have lost a loyal and dependable friend and colleague. It’s now important that we move forward from this dreadful accident that has changed so many lives forever.”