Police warning after distracted driver jailed over 'hugely devastating' double fatal Northamptonshire crash

'It only takes a second to have a crash that changes lives forever' - that was the warning from police after a distracted driver was jailed over a fatal accident in Northamptonshire.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 3:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:06 am

Gary Marshall was imprisoned for six months after admitting to causing the deaths of William and Brenda Skears in a crash on the A508 in Roade in 2018 at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Monday, January 20).

Lead investigator Detective Constable Ady Tredwell said: “William and Brenda Skears were a lovely couple and to have lost their lives in this way after such a long time together is such a tragedy.

“I am pleased to see Gary Marshall receive a custodial sentence and I hope that the end of this case provides William and Brenda’s family with some element of closure.

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William and Brenda Skears on their wedding day in Paulerspury in March 1955. Photo courtesy of Northamptonshire Police

“As you can see from the photo we have released of the aftermath of this collision, this was a hugely devastating crash and I hope it demonstrates just how important it is to be alert 100 per cent of the time when driving.

“As we can see here, it only takes a second to have a crash that changes lives forever.”

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The lapse caused his Land Rover Discovery to veer into the other side of the road as he went around a bend and a Skoda Fabia.

The scene of the crash involving the Skoda Fabia William and Brenda Skears were in and Gary Marshall's Land Rover Discovery. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

The front and back seat passengers of the Skoda - William, 89, and Brenda, 85, both from Paulerspury - died at the scene shortly after the collision.

The pair had been married for 63 years and had lived in Paulerspury all of their married lives.

On the day of the crash, William, also known as Bill, was one month away from his 90th birthday and Brenda was three weeks away from her 86th birthday.

Marshall took the stand during the hearing to explain how his air conditioning business would collapse if he was jailed.

But Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking imprisoned him for six months for each count of causing death by dangerous driving, to be served concurrently, and disqualified him from driving for two years and three months.