Driver is spared jail for mattress death on A229
An Aylesford woman who caused another driver’s death when a mattress fell from her car roof is to be spared jail.
Rebecca Miller was in the process of moving home when it was dislodged from her Peugeot 2008 SUV on the busy A229 dual carriageway at Blue Bell Hill.
The double mattress landed in the outside lane, in the path of retired security guard Clive Mauger’s Peugeot 206, Maidstone Crown Court heard.
He was unable to swerve out of the way and his car clipped it, careered off the road and hit a tree.
The 69-year-old grandfather, who was travelling at about 60mph, was killed instantly.
The accident happened at just after 4.30pm on January 30.
Miller, a prison officer of 15 years, told police she would not have driven if she had any concerns about the load, which was held on by five bungee cords.
She was doing about 50 to 55mph in the Maidstone-bound carriageway when she heard a loud crack.
She pulled over and saw the victim crash.
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden said Miller’s vision was not obscured and there was no evidence she was speeding.
“Pure and simple, this was a case of a load coming off her car,” he said.
“She didn’t drive with due care and attention because she ought not to have driven at all with the load secured in the way it was.
“Alternatively, she should have been driving considerably slower – perhaps even on a different route and not on a fast road.”
Mr Mauger, a father-of-four from Chatham, was on his way to visit a friend at the time.
Miller, 39, denied causing death by dangerous driving and her guilty plea to causing death by careless driving was accepted.
Judge Julian Smith indicated he would suspend a prison sentence. It was poor decisionmaking, he said, that caused the fatal crash.
Simon Taylor, defending, said the bungee grip had simply failed.
Miller was suspended from work when charged, and now expected to lose her job, he added.
Sentencing was adjourned. See Kent Online for updates.
Rebecca Miller avoided jail