Dagenham driver ‘panicked’ after fatal crash

Charles Mayes, 95, died in the crash

Charles Mayes, 95, died in the crash - Credit: Archant

A tipper truck driver “panicked” and drove off after a crash which saw a 95-year-old die, a court heard today.

Darren Kettley, of Porters Avenue, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after colliding with a car on Frinton Road in Kirby Cross, Essex, at 10.30pm on December 12.

Motorist Charles Mayes who was driving a Suzuki Swift, died at the scene.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, told Colchester Magistrates’ Court how members of the public saw Kettley pull up a short distance from the scene, stop for a moment and then drive off.

“Mr Kettley did not know who was in the vehicle or what they had suffered,” Miss Small added.

She said Kettley had phoned someone at his employers who advised him to go back and give his details, but he instead continued to drive until he was pulled over by Essex Police officers on the A130 near South Woodham Ferrers 80 minutes after the crash.

During a police interview Kettley told officers he slowed down and tried to steer away from the collision.

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He admitted he knew he had hit the other vehicle, but said he panicked and drove off.

Miss Small added: “He said he didn’t know what was going through his mind at the time.”

Kettley, 37, also admitted a charge of failing to keep driver records.

However he entered no plea on a drink-driving charge, and the case was adjourned until July 14 for a hearing back at the court.

Kettley, who will be sentenced on the fail to stop and record keeping charges once the excess alcohol case has concluded, was granted unconditional bail by magistrates until the next hearing.

Harry Bentley, defending, said Kettley accepted it was a serious case and that sentencing guidelines put him at risk of a prison sentence.