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Mercedes Sprinter rear view

May: failed to secure Sprinter’s handbrake

Failure to apply handbrake sufficiently led to van fatally rolling into pedestrians

THERE was a stark reminder for all business van drivers and van fleet operators about the importance of practising high standards of driving competence.

A van driver, 52 year old Larkland May, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving after his runaway van caused the death of two people in London. The van had not been secured correctly.

The incident happened when Mr May was working as a delivery driver when. He had parked his Mercedes Sprinter van on a gradient but without applying the handbrake sufficiently. The van was nudged, rolled down the gradient, and fatally hit two pedestrians.

Mr May was charged with two counts of manslaughter for careless driving for not applying the handbrake, or not applying the handbrake sufficiently, and not complying with the Highway Code rules when parking on a gradient – he had not left his van in reverse and had not turned the van’s wheels into the kerb.

Crown Prosecution Service’s London lawyer, Regina Naughton, said:

“A person is guilty of causing death by careless driving if their driving standard is deemed to fall below the standards of a competent and prudent driver.

“Parking forms part of the driving of a vehicle and by failing to sufficiently secure his vehicle he is deemed to have acted careless whilst driving and his actions led to the resulting deaths of the two pedestrians.”

The van had no mechanical defect at the time of the incident it was reported.

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