Cumbria

Man jailed over A66 head-on crash death

David Bennell Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption David Bennell's family said he was "extremely active", riding his bicycle and walking miles every day

A driver who killed a fellow motorist in a head-on crash has been jailed.

David Bennell, 82, from Braithwaite near Keswick, was seriously injured in the crash on the A66 in April last year and later died in hospital.

Calum Wilkinson, 25, of Eaigle Terrace, Main Road, Flimby, was found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court last month of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was earlier sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail at the same court.

On 29 April last year, Wilkinson's Volkswagen crossed double white lines on the A66 near Dubwath, crashing head-on into a Toyota driven by Mr Bennell, the court heard.

Mr Bennell later died in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Police said Wilkinson's driving was reckless.

The jury heard how Mr Bennell had "no chance" of avoiding Wilkinson's car.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: "This was a tragic incident which could easily have been avoided but for Wilkinson's reckless driving.

"Wilkinson knew the route very well. It was his daily commute and in interview he said he was not hurrying to make an appointment.

"Yet he made the decision to drive in a way that put his own life and the lives of other road users at risk.

"Ultimately, Wilkinson's decision to overtake traffic when he was unsighted, carrying out a manoeuvre which, from the road markings, he would have known was clearly prohibited, has cost Mr Bennell his life."

Wilkinson was also handed a two-year driving ban.

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