Woman kills own mum in head-on crash after falling asleep behind the wheel

Janet Macey , 65, was driving her mother Margaret Skeet’s Honda Jazz on the A229 at Hurst Green, East Sussex, when the car drifted into the opposite carriageway and crashed into a Ford Mondeo.

A driver who killed her own mother when she fell asleep at the wheel and caused a head-on crash has been spared jail more than a year on.

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

Macey’s mother, 88-year-old Margaret Skeet from Hawkhurst, Kent, was the front seat passenger and died in the collision.

Macey, 65, from Cranbrook, Kent, suffered serious injuries, as did the Ford driver – a man from Heathfield, now aged 68 – when the tragedy occurred on February 26, 2020, Sussex Live reported.

At the scene, Macey told members of the public that came to assist that she had suddenly fallen asleep while driving.

She went on to say the same thing during her police interview, and she 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.

However, she later changed her plea to guilty before the trial began.

Macey appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Monday, where she was sentenced to 21 months in jail, suspended for 12 months.

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

Detective Constable Kelly Newton, of the Sussex Police 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.”

At the time of the incident, a police spokesperson said: “[The crash] happened shortly before 3.30pm near the Merriments Garden Centre, close to the Kent-Sussex border, when a silver Honda Jazz travelling east was in collision with a grey Ford Mondeo travelling west.

“The Honda driver, a 63-year-old woman from Cranbrook, Kent, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, by ambulance.

“Her passenger, an 88-year-old woman from Hawkhurst, Kent, suffered multiple injuries and was also taken to Pembury Hospital, where unfortunately she later died.

“The Ford driver, a 66-year-old man from Heathfield, was taken to Pembury Hospital with a suspected broken wrist, bruising and shock.”