Death crash nurse who nodded off at wheel is spared jail term Woman killed father-of-eight outside his house after 50th birthday party
A BIRMINGHAM nurse who killed a father-of-eight when she ploughed into him after falling asleep at the wheel has walked free from court.
Gaynor Thomas was driving home from her 50th birthday party in July last year when she nodded off and crashed into Dahir Yasin Mohammed, crushing him between his parked car and a tree outside his own house.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that the crash happened just before 5am after Thomas, a senior matron, had spent the night at a party in her honour at her local church hall.
Mr Mohammed, aged 49, was killed instantly and was found by his wife and some of their eight children.
He and his wife had moved to Birmingham from their native Somalia more than 15 years ago.
Thomas, 51, of Court Lane, Erdington, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. But after hearing how the accident was a “tragic set of circumstances”, Judge Philip Parker QC said he would not be sending Thomas to prison immediately.
Instead he handed her an eightmonth jail term suspended for a year. She was also banned from driving for three years.
Nicholas Smith, prosecuting, said the crash happened on July 9, 2017 in Goosemoor Lane, near the junction with Anstey Field, in Erdington.
Mr Mohammed was standing at the back of his parked Mercedes Vito people carrier when Thomas’s Mercedes B220 sports car hit it. He was trapped between his vehicle and a tree, and died of multiple injuries.
“His wife saw it all,” said Mr Smith. “People trying to give her husband CPR and then being told that he was dead at the scene.”
Thomas initially claimed she had swerved to avoid something which had run out in front of her, but analysis of her car and the scene found no evidence or swerving or braking.
“A police collision investigator concluded that it was consistent with her having fallen asleep at the wheel, and her car drifting into the parked vehicle at about 38mph,” Mr Smith said.
Malcolm Galloway, defending, said Thomas had 31 years’ nursing experience and was a senior matron working in the community.
On the day of the accident she had been celebrating her 50th birthday at her church’s hall and stayed behind to help clear up afterwards. She was in the car with her son and nephew.
“She had not drunk any alcohol and was not tired at all,” he said. ”She is a nurse so is used to working long hours. She had a micro-sleep and drifted into the other car.”
Mr Galloway gave the court more than 20 testimonials and references from members of the community, church and medical profession.
Thomas is currently off work and is also being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and could lose her job because of this conviction.
> Gaynor Thomas was given a suspended sentence