This Article has been abstracted from ‘The Mail Online’ and does not necessarily reflect our views. The purpose is to realise consequences and importance of obeying Driving Hours Laws.
This is the horrific moment a father-of-four was killed when he fell asleep at the wheel after driving 592 miles over a 19 hour period of work.
Adrian McMurray 54, and his son Adrian, 36, were today jailed for manslaughter after Stephen Kenyon was crushed to death when his 39 tonne Renault lorry crashed into a lorry in front on the M1.
Tragic Mr Kenyon fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into a line of stationary traffic on the southbound carriageway near Luton Airport on February 12, 2010.
Accident: Mr Kenyon fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into a line of stationary traffic on the southbound carriageway near Luton Airport
The father-of-four, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was seen moments before the crash drifting from the slow lane into the middle lane.
As eyewitnesses went past the lorry, Mr Kenyon, who was on his way to Essex with a delivery, could be seen rubbing his eyes.
Despite braking hard at the last moment, Mr Kenyon crashed into the back of a lorry in front, St Alban’s Crown Court heard.
His cab was crushed and he suffered serious head and chest injuries. He was pronounced dead at 2.26am.
The jury were told how tachographs inside his van showed Mr Kenyon had been at work since 5am the previous morning.
He had been on duty for 19 hours and 15 minutes and had been driving for 13 hours and eight minutes, covering 592 miles.
Jailed: Adrian McMurray (left), 54, and his son Adrian (right), 36, were today jailed for manslaughter following the death of Mr Kenyon
The McMurrays, who ran a haulage business for 99p Stores, denied manslaughter by gross negligence and failing to discharge an employer’s duty but a jury unanimously convicted the father of both charges.
McMurray Jr was found guilty of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two and guilty unanimously on the second charge.
McMurray Snr was jailed for a total of seven years, McMurray Jr was jailed for a total of four years.
‘Adrian John McMurray and Adrian Paul McMurray you ran the business with scant regard to your legal obligations and cutting every corner to maximise your profits’
– Judge Andrew Bright
The pair had also admitted cheating cheating the PAYE and National Insurance system of £896,050 between April 2005 and April 2010.
McMurray Snr and another defendant, the firm’s bookkeeper, Heather Parkinson, aged 69, also pleaded guilty to cheating the Inland Revenue of £311,976 between April 2005 and September 2009, and evading £424,248 VAT between February 2005 and July 2009.
Jailing the two McMurray’s today, Judge Andrew Bright said: ‘The excessive hours for which he was driving caused him to be so tired he was a danger to himself and other road users.
‘Heavy lorries pose a very real threat to other road users and that threat was substantially increased by the way you ran your haulage business.
‘The death of Stephen Kenyon was an accident waiting to happen.
‘Adrian John McMurray and Adrian Paul McMurray you ran the business with scant regard to your legal obligations and cutting every corner to maximise your profits.’
Sentence: McMurray Snr has been jailed for a total of seven years while McMurray Jr has been jailed for a total of four years
Road haulage legislation states truckers can only drive large commercial lorries for a maximum of 10 hours in a 24-hour period and only for two days a week.
Charles Miskin QC, prosecuting, said the practice of ignoring legislation was ‘tolerated if not encouraged’ by the McMurrays.
Drivers were ‘frequently asked to do deliveries that would take them over permitted hours’.
‘The excessive hours for which he was driving caused him to be so tired he was a danger to himself and other road users’
– Judge Andrew Bright
He said: ‘This is a case about a man who lost his life because the rules were broken.’
Mr Miskin said the father and son team, who were based at the 99p Stores depot in Daventry, Northamptonshire, showed a ‘flagrant disregard for the law’ in the pursuit of profit.
He added: ‘Mr Kenyon’s death was the utterly foreseeable consequence of the way the defendants conducted their business. It was an accident waiting to happen.
‘Their negligence had exposed him to the risk of death and that failure had been so reprehensible that it amounted to gross negligence.’
Mr Kenyon’s death also led to an investigation into the company’s financial affairs.
The business turnover was £5.23 million, but a turnover of only £400,000 was declared. No VAT returns were ever made.
Heather Parkinson was jailed for 27 months after admitting cheating the public revenue and National Insurance of £15,081.76.
McMurray Snr also pleaded guilty to possessing a stun gun that was found in the leather jacket on the back seat of his car.
He had previously been jailed for three years in France in May 2001 after being caught in a lorry importing drugs.