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Father, 21, who caused death of his fiancée when he fell asleep at the wheel is spared jail

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Dominic Evans was driving his 22-year-old partner Kayleigh Gill and their two young children back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours of the morning when his car veered across a motorway and hit an 18-tonne truck

Dominic Evans was driving his 22-year-old partner Kayleigh Gill and their two young children back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours of the morning when his car veered across a motorway and hit an 18-tonne truck

Dominic Evans was driving his 22-year-old partner Kayleigh Gill and their two young children back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours of the morning when his car veered across a motorway and hit an 18-tonne truck

A father who caused the death of his fiancée when he fell asleep at the wheel on the way back from a holiday in Egypt has been spared jail.

Dominic Evans was driving his 22-year-old partner Kayleigh Gill and their two young children back from Gatwick Airport in the early hours of the morning when his car veered across a motorway and hit an 18-tonne truck.

They were on their way to their home near Tavistock and had taken three coffee breaks and shared the driving duties to try to make sure they were safe.

Evans, 21, had no memory of what happened on the M5 near Cullompton at 5.48am but other drivers saw the Nissan Juke drift gradually across from the middle lane and into the lorry.

The two children aged two and four were strapped in the back of the car and they and Evans were unhurt.

Ms Gill, who was the front seat passenger, suffered multiple injuries and died in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, two days later.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court suspended Evans’s jail sentence and imposed the shortest possible driving ban after hearing how he has had to give up work to look after the two children full time.

The older of the boys is also receiving counselling for the psychological trauma he suffered in the accident.

Evans, aged 21, previously of Whitchurch, Tavistock, but now of Bere Alston, admitted causing death by careless driving.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 12 months.The judge ordered no costs after hearing how any money would come out of an already stretched family budget.

The family were on their way to their home near Tavistock and had taken three coffee breaks and shared the driving duties to try to make sure they were safe

The family were on their way to their home near Tavistock and had taken three coffee breaks and shared the driving duties to try to make sure they were safe

The family were on their way to their home near Tavistock and had taken three coffee breaks and shared the driving duties to try to make sure they were safe

He told Evans: ‘Itis clear from the victim impact statements that Kayleigh was a much loved daughter, friend and particularly the mother of two small children.

‘There is no suggestion you were driving at excessive speed, using a mobile phone, or were distracted.You gave negative tests from drugs and alcohol. It was a clear road with good driving conditions.

‘It seems to me the inevitable conclusion is that you were nodding off after your flight back to the UK.You were distraught at the scene and it is a mercy that the two children were not physically affected.

‘The probation report tells me you are the carer for the two children and it is clear this has had a large impact on you and them.

‘One huge factor is the effect that an immediate custodial sentence would have on the two children, who have already suffered enough. One is undergoing counselling.

‘I take into account your driving history and the fact this was a relatively short lived piece of careless driving. I have no doubt that every time you go behind a wheel from now on you will be thinking about the events of that day.’

Evans, 21, had no memory of what happened on the M5 near Cullompton at 5.48am

Evans, 21, had no memory of what happened on the M5 near Cullompton at 5.48am

Evans, 21, had no memory of what happened on the M5 near Cullompton at 5.48am

Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the family arrived back at Gatwick from Egypt at around 1 am and set off from the airport about an hour later.

They stopped for 15 minute coffee breaks at Reading, Leigh Delamere and Bridgwater services and Kayleigh drove between the first and second stops.

The driver of a rescue truck saw the Nissan drift slowly across the M5 near the Cullompton junction before witnessing the impact.

Victim impact statements from Kayleigh’s family said they were devastated by her death.

Mr William Parkhill, defending, said: ‘Mr Evans bears responsibility for this accident, albeit it was a lapse of driving measured in a very short period of time. The consequences have been catastrophic for him and those closest to him.

‘He had taken stops and swapped drivers and if he thought he might have fallen asleep, he would never have driven. He thought he was doing everything right but unfortunately it proved not to be the case.

‘He was not taking any ridiculous risks and was trying to take measures to ensure the family would arrive home safely. He has no previous convictions and has already been punished to a very large degree.’

The couple had been together since they were 15 and were due to be married.

Ms Gill was a former Tavistock College student, whose family paid tribute to her after her death.

Her father Steve said: ‘Kayleigh was our first daughter and we couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.

‘She brought so much joy to myself and Sarah, we are so proud of her. There will never be a day that goes by when we won’t think of Kayleigh, she has left a huge hole in our hearts and will be sorely missed by the whole family. Her little sister Rosie misses her deeply.’

Her brother Sean Gill said care worker Kayleigh was due to get married to Dominic in 2020.

He said: ‘She was a fun-loving, easy going, kind of girl; she loved nothing more than her kids. She always thought about other people first, she always came last. 

‘She was much-loved by everyone in the community, she will be sorely missed by everyone.

‘She loved going on holiday to Egypt, she would go two or three times a year, and had done for the last five years. It’s just shocking – I’m heartbroken, everyone is heartbroken.’

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