Northamptonshire woman spared jail after she fell asleep at the wheel causing collision that killed motorcyclist

Police investigating the case say the 23-year-old ‘ignored the warning signs’ of tiredness

Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 3:33 pm

A Northamptonshire woman has been spared jail after she fell asleep at the wheel and caused a collision that killed a motorcyclist.

Mollie Southam, of Hawthorn Drive, Brackley, was driving on the A16 near Newborough, near Peterborough at around 6am on February 7, 2020.

Cambridgeshire Police said the 23-year-old fell asleep at the wheel causing her car to veer into the opposite lane and into oncoming traffic. Her vehicle hit a motorcyclist head on and caused a five-vehicle collision.

The collision was fatal.

The motorcyclist, Simon Rayner, aged 51, of Spalding, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Cambridgeshire Police, Southam had ignored the warning signs and fallen asleep, causing her vehicle to drift across the carriageway.

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

Detective Sergeant 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.”

Southam was sentenced on Monday (June 27) 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.