Driver fell asleep at the wheel, tragically killing her mother, on A229 at Hurst Green

A driver who fell asleep at the wheel and caused a head-on collision – which resulted in the death of her own mother – has been convicted in court, police have confirmed.

Janet Macey was driving her mother’s Honda Jazz on the A229 at Hurst Green when she drifted into the opposite carriageway and crashed into a Ford Mondeo, police said.

The incident, on the afternoon of February 26, 2020, tragically claimed the life of Margaret Skeet, aged 88, from Hawkhurst, Kent, who was the front seat passenger in the Honda, added police.

Macey, 65, of Dr Hope’s Road, Cranbrook, Kent, suffered serious injuries, as did the Ford driver – a man from Heathfield, who is now aged 68, police said.

Police collision

While at the scene, Macey told members of the public who came to assist she had suddenly fallen asleep while driving, a police spokesman said. She went on to confirm this in her police interview, police said, and was subsequently charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Macey pleaded not guilty and a trial was set, but she later changed her plea to guilty before the trial commenced, added police.

She appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Monday (July 26), where she was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

She was also disqualified from driving for 10 years, according to police, and will be required to take an extended re-test if she wishes to drive again.

Detective Constable Kelly Newton, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “As seen by this tragic case, falling asleep at the wheel can be devastating for the driver, any passengers and other road users.

“Any collision that occurs as a result of falling asleep at the wheel is classified as dangerous driving – this is a very serious offence which comes with a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

“I hope this case serves as a reminder to other motorists to take steps to avoid the same mistakes.”