An HGV driver who caused the death of an RAF helicopter pilot who had parked up on the M40 to help out following a collision, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Malcolm Clarkson pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving after he drove into the back of Scott McConnell’s car between junctions 12 and 13 on 19 November 2019.
McConnell, 26, had stopped to assist after two other vehicles had been involved in a collision and had parked up to await assistance.
Warwick crown court heard how McConnell, who had just qualified as an RAF pilot, was on the phone to Warwickshire police when his car was struck by Clarkson’s Scania at 61mph. A forensic collision investigation report concluded that Clarkson had been talking on a hands free kit moments before the collision and he braked just 24 metres, or one second, prior to the impact.
Police performed CPR on McConnell until paramedics arrived, but he did not regain consciousness and died the following morning in hospital.
Police staff investigator Liam Ryan said: “There is no doubt that being on the phone hands free moments before the collision distracted Clarkson to the extent that he was unable to react to the road ahead as he was not giving it his full attention.”
Ryan added: “Whilst the sentence demonstrates the seriousness of this offence, and Scott’s family can be proud of his actions, unfortunately nothing can bring Scott back to his family.” Clarkson was also banned from driving for six years and nine months.