Young mum died after fiancé fell asleep at wheel of car

An inquest has heard how the driver of an HGV found the partner of 22-year-old Kayleigh Gill sobbing by the side of the road after a fatal collision on the M5 in June 2019. Senior coroner for Plymouth, Ian Arrow read out a summary of the statement by Tristan Oaten, whose HGV was struck in the early hours of January 14 near Cullompton on the M5 as he headed towards Plymouth to make a delivery to the House of Fraser. Mr Oaten explained that he picked up the 18.5 tonne Volvo truck at around 1.30am in Northampton and had enjoyed a “trouble-free” drive for four hours.

He had intended to stop at the Exeter services on the M5 for a break before continuing his journey along the A38 to Plymouth. He noted that he was travelling at a steady 54mph on cruise control in lane one where “there was an almighty bang” and his vehicle lurched forward as his steering wheel pulled to one side. Mr Oaten wrote that he looked over his shoulder and saw a dark coloured car going into and along the central reservation barrier before careering back across the road in front of him to the hard shoulder.

Kayleigh Gill died four days after the horrific crash

He slammed on his breaks and got out of his cab where he found a man at the drivers’ side “crying – he was an emotional wreck”.

Mr Oaten said he took the sobbing man to the back of the damaged Nissan Juke vehicle and sat him down on the barrier before phoning the emergency services. Paramedics treated Kayleigh at the scene before she was taken to Derriford Hospital where she died four days later on January 18, 2019. A post mortem was carried out and confirmed that the former Tavistock College student died as a result of a severe traumatic brain injury.

A report by MPC Lucy Tyler-Jones who investigated the incident said the driver, Dominic Evans, the partner of Kayleigh. He was driving her and their two young children – aged two and four – back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours after returning from a holiday in the Red Sea with Dominic’s parents and a friend of Kayleigh’s. Dominic’s parents were travelling in another car but they had broken down en-route.

During a later court case lawyers explained that the Dominic and care worker Kayleigh had been taking turns in driving the journey home, taking coffee breaks along the way.

Young mum died after fiancé fell asleep at wheel of carThe young mum-of-two died, aged 22, after a lorry crash on the M5

However, Dominic explained that he had no memory of what happened at 5.48am that morning, although one witness told police they saw the Nissan Juke drift gradually across from the middle lane into the back of the lorry. The officer said her investigation confirmed Dominic had not been distracted by a phone and there was no suggestion that his speed was involved. He was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving and pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

At his sentencing, Dominic’s barrister told Exeter Crown Court that the couple had been in a relationship since they were 15, were engaged to be married, and had two children together. He also noted how Dominic and Kayleigh, who lived together in Market Road, Tavistock, had been sharing the driving and that this was not a case of deliberately driving while suffering from sleep deprivation.

Young mum died after fiancé fell asleep at wheel of carDominic Evans was driving his 22-year-old partner Kayleigh Gill and their two young children back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours of the morning when his car veered across a motorway and hit an 18 ton truck.

The judge jailed him for eight months, suspended for two years, adding that it appeared the “inevitable conclusion is that you were nodding off after your flight back to the UK. You were distraught at the scene and it is a mercy that the two children were not physically affected.

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“The probation report tells me you are the carer for the two children and it is clear this has had a large impact on you and them. “One huge factor is the effect that an immediate custodial sentence would have on the two children, who have already suffered enough.

One is undergoing counselling. “I take into account your driving history and the fact this was a relatively short lived piece of careless driving. I have no doubt that every time you go behind a wheel from now on you will be thinking about the events of that day.”

Senior Coroner Ian Arrow said that given the evidence presented to him his conclusion that Kayleigh was killed as a result of careless driving.

He offered his condolences to the family of Kayleigh before closing the inquest.

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