Devastated daughter of woman killed in head-on crash by Suffolk driver speaks out

PUBLISHED: 17:36 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 13 November 2020

Carlisle grandmother Ann Copley was killed in the crash Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Carlisle grandmother Ann Copley was killed in the crash Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Penny Alison

The devastated daughter of a woman killed by a Suffolk driver following a head-on crash in Cumbria says she has got closure “at long last” after he was jailed.

Colin Brown, 78, of Upper Street, Layham, near Ipswich, was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Carlisle Crown Court today after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Brown was driving a white Renault Master van – towing a caravan – on the A66 just east of Penrith, Cumbria, around 12.15pm on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 when he veered onto the opposite side of the road.

Grandmother Ann Copley, 76, from Carlisle, was driving a Citroen C3 when she was hit head-on by the vehicle, and the incident was captured on CCTV.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mrs Copley’s daughter Penny Allison said although Brown had pulled over an hour before the crash for food, he should have recognised the signs of fatigue on the long holiday journey from Suffolk.

“The overall outcome is that he has gone to prison and he so easily could not have gone to prison,” she said.

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“Yes, there was no intent there but at the end of the day as an experienced driver of a caravan, he should have recognised the signs of fatigue and pulled over, and he chose not to.

“This older generation of people with caravans need to understand that they can’t do six or seven hour journeys and think they’re not going to fall asleep. It could have so easily been avoided.

“He killed our mum and we’re devastated. There’s no more to it than that really. But he has gone off to prison and he will serve at least six months.

“We’ve got closure at long last. It’s such a long drawn out process, it’s 26 months this month and it’s quite an ordeal to go through waiting every day.”

Mrs Allison, who lost her dad 12 years ago, paid tribute to her mother, describing her as “just the best mum”.

“She was 76 but she was the absolute life and soul of the party and she thought of herself as being in her 50s and acted like she was in her 50s,” Mrs Allison said.

“She obviously cared for my dad but she’d had 12 years as a single woman and grabbed life by the horns. She took me and the kids to Disneyland, we went to Spain every year. She really was just the best mum.

“She really was not ready to go yet.”

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