Kent

Leonard Pettifer, 86, jailed for M20 wrong-way death

The coastbound M20 Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash happened on the coastbound carriageway during the early hours of 29 November

An 86-year-old man who caused the death of an ex-police motorcycle instructor after driving the wrong way on a motorway for two miles has been jailed.

Leonard Pettifer, of Snargate Lane, Romney Marsh, made a U-turn on the M20 in Kent after realising he had taken the wrong route.

Police said he fatally struck Michael Copleston, 60, on 29 November.

Pettifer admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for 32 months at Canterbury Crown Court.

The crash happened on the coastbound carriageway of the road, near Ashford, during the early hours.

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Mr Copleston, from Hawkinge - who worked as a chauffeur for the US embassy - died at the scene.

Pettifer held a full driving licence at the time of the crash but failed an eyesight test shortly afterwards and had his licence revoked, Kent Police said.

A force spokesman added: "CCTV footage showed Pettifer made no attempt to stop on the hard-shoulder, or exit via a slip road, and continued to drive in lane three."

Investigating officer Derek Mole said: "Pettifer was completely unfit to drive and his actions sadly caused the death of a man."

He said he hoped the sentence would provide "some small comfort to the family who lost a loved one".

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