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Spalding motorcyclist killed after car driver fell asleep at wheel

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A woman killed a Spalding motorcyclist after falling asleep at the wheel and veering into oncoming traffic.

Mollie Southam (23) was driving along the A16 near Newborough at about 6am on February 7, 2020, when her car veered into the opposite lane, hitting motorcyclist Simon Rayner head on and causing a five-vehicle collision.

Mr Rayner (51), of St Thomas' Road, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Peterborough Crown Court (39046967)
Peterborough Crown Court (39046967)

During the investigation, it became clear Southam had fallen asleep, causing her vehicle to drift across the carriageway into the path of Mr Rayner.

Southam, of Hawthorn Drive, Brackley, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving following a trial in May.

She was sentenced on Monday at Peterborough Crown Court to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, 160 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for three years.

Det Sgt Mark Dollard said: “This was a needless tragedy. It shows the importance of being well rested before driving and to not drive while tired.

“Mr Rayner lost his life because Miss Southam fell asleep at the wheel. His family have had their lives changed forever and she will have to live with the consequences of her actions.

“If people can take anything away from this, it should be that tiredness can kill. Take a break if you need to, a 15-minute delay is better than a life ruined.”

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