Exhausted driver, 49, killed budding actress, 16, in head-on crash after ‘falling asleep at the wheel’

Exhausted driver, 49, killed budding actress, 16, in head-on crash after ‘falling asleep at the wheel’

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AN EXHAUSTED driver, 49, killed a budding actress in a head-on collision after falling asleep at the wheel, the court heard.

IT worker Daniel Scales was driving a blue Peugeot car when he hit the Volkswagen Golf Rosie Roebuck, 16, was in near Petworth, West Sussex in July last year.

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Tragic Rosie Roebuck died after being involved in a head-on car crash[/caption]

Rosie had just completed her GCSEs when she was killed
Rosie had just completed her GCSEs when she was killed
PA:Press Association

She was rushed to St George’s Hospital in South London with serious injuries alongside the 48-year-old woman driver and a further two 16-year-old passengers – a boy and a girl.

But, surgeons were unable to save her life.

Scales, from Worthing, also sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the same hospital for treatment.

Sussex Police said an investigation revealed the Peugeot had been travelling at approximately 43mph in the 30mph zone and the breaks had not been used prior to the crash.

Scales told witnesses at the scene that he had left work early that day because he felt tired and said he must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

He was interviewed via voluntary attendance, and charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday September 20, and was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment, of which he must serve a minimum of 14 months.

He was also disqualified from driving for 38 months and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

‘SHE HAD A PROMISING FUTURE’

Judge William Ashworth, in sentencing, acknowledged Scales’ early guilty plea and genuine remorse.

He added: “It is accepted that this is a case of dangerous driving where you deliberately drove, knowing you were deprived of adequate rest, and aggravated by travelling above the speed limit in a 30mph limit.

“If the accident had been at a lower speed the consequences would have been less.

“A family, friends and community have suffered the loss of Rosie Roebuck, whom her mother described as a caring, intuitive, clever and talented 16-year-old with a promising future ahead of her.”

In a victim impact statement, Rosie’s family added: “We are so proud of what Rosie had achieved in her 16 short years, and of the fun-loving, life-embracing, go-getting young woman she was.

“From the many messages we received, it is clear how well thought of she was and how many lives she touched.

“Rosie had an undeniable presence, a stunning smile, and is desperately missed by many, a lot of whom feel lost and alone without her.

“Rosie was an aspiring actress and participated in numerous productions for her school, Churt Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) and The Tilbourne Players.

“In her memory, we have set up the Rosie Roebuck Performing Arts Foundation, a charity which will provide funding for young performers to fulfil their dreams.”

BRIGHT FUTURE

Rosie died, leaving behind her parents Alex and Jenny, an older sister Evie, and younger brother Sam.

Rosie, Chiddingfold in Surrey, died just weeks after finishing her GCSEs.

Her family previous told how she had just completed her GCSEs at Woolmer Hill School, Haslemere when she died.

Investigating officer Tony Crisp, of the Sussex Police serious collision investigations unit, said: “This was a terrible and tragic collision which has affected families and communities alike, but one that could have been avoided.

“Many drivers may feel the pressure to get to their destination even when fatigued, but driving when you are tired is dangerous and seriously increases the risk of having a collision.


“Make sure you are fit to drive at the beginning of your journey and have had adequate rest.

“If you are feeling the effects of fatigue whilst you are driving, this is the warning sign to find a safe place to stop and take a break. Do not continue until you are fit and alert.

“As this crash demonstrates, the consequences of driving whilst tired can be devastating.”

The tragedy took place on the A283 near the West Sussex village of Northchapel

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