A pensioner whose dangerous driving caused the death of a retired nurse on the M6 in Cumbria has been jailed.
Colin McLachlan, 74, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday, September 16. He had previously pled guilty to causing the death of 67-year-old Christine McGuire by dangerous driving.
Mrs McGuire was killed instantly when her Renault was struck by McLachlan’s northbound Nissan Pathfinder on the hard shoulder. She had been travelling home to Stranraer and was inside her stationary vehicle having suffered a puncture moments before the crash occurred near Penrith on 7th January last year.
The court heard McLachlan’s vehicle had “deliberately drifted” from the second lane of the motorway onto the hard shoulder. There was no evidence of braking before he stuck the Renault, which was catapulted towards the central reservation.
McLachlan had been “distracted” as he reached for a tissue, and was unfamiliar with UK roads after spending more than three decades driving in the Middle East and America.
Judge Peter Davies, who heard of the “shock and distress” felt by Mrs McGuire’s family, imposed an immediate 21-month prison sentence.
McLachlan, of Belmont Crescent, Kilmars, Kilmarnock, was told by the judge: “I cannot suspend that. I have to take into account the catastrophic harm of what has been admitted by you to be a dangerous driving incident.”
He was also given a four-year driving ban.