Truck driver who mistook man for roll of carpet jailed over death

|News, Driving offences

A truck driver who drove over a pedestrian he mistook for a roll of carpet in the road has today (April 17) been jailed for causing death by careless driving.

Sean Denham, 49, drove off after running over 22-year-old Mark O’Donnell with his recovery vehicle. Mr O’Donnell died from serious head injuries.

The victim had been lying in the road before he was hit by Denham’s vehicle at around 3am on 20 August 2016 in Portsmouth Road, Guildford.

Denham later told police he had seen something in the road but thought it was a piece of rubbish or a roll of carpet that had fallen from the back of a lorry.

Denham denied causing death by careless driving but was found guilty following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in March. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and disqualified from driving for 28 months today.

Claire Prodger, from the CPS, said: “Sean Denham denied that his error in failing to stop or slow down to avoid Mr O’Donnell amounted to causing death by careless driving.

“However, through careful presentation of the evidence, the CPS demonstrated that Denham’s driving fell below the expected standard and he should have exercised more care, slowed or stopped until he was certain of what was in the road ahead of him.

“Our thoughts are with Mr O’Donnell’s family.”

Notes to editors

  • Claire Prodger is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South-East

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