Man sentenced for causing death by careless driving

A Windermere man appeared in court today where he was sentenced for causing the death of a colleague by careless driving.

Malcolm Sarginson, 41 of Fairfield Road, Windermere appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today where he was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment. He has been disqualified from driving for three years and faces an extended re-test after this time.

The sentencing follows an investigation by Cumbria Constabulary and the Health and Safety Executive after a fatal road traffic collision occurred last March. 

Sarginson pleaded guilty to the offence of causing death by careless driving on 28 November 2011 after he was involved in a collision on 17th March 2011 on the driveway of St Marys Church of England Junior & Nursery School, Princes Rd, Windermere.

The collision occurred at 10.59am after Sarginson, who was driving an Isuzu Recycling Box van owned by South Lakeland District Council, collided with his colleague, 58 yr old Dorothy Ann Harkes – known as Ann - of Great Urwick, Ulverston. Sadly, she incurred fatal injuries and died later in hospital.

Sergeant John Leonard said: “Sarginson reversed too quickly without checking necessary mirrors and his reversing camera. His actions resulted in a tragedy that has devastated a family.

“The result today concludes the police investigation however we will continue to assist the Health and Safety Executive as part of their ongoing enquiries into two fatalities involving South Lakeland District Council vehicles that occurred within a period of18 months.”

Dorothy Ann Harkes’ widower, Alistair Harkes, said: “Any sentence given in this court pales into insignificance compared to our loss.

“Nothing can bring Ann back to us. Due to the negligence of this person, my father-in-law has lost his caring daughter; I have lost my wonderful wife, our girls and only granddaughter have lost their much loved mum and grandma. Others have lost a true and valued friend.

“I come home to an empty house and often start to call out as I come through the door. The pain and loss we will always have is the greatest injustice of all.

“With the death of my wife, there have been two very similar fatalities in a short period of time involving SLDC vehicles. Lessons need to be learned, work practices need to be seriously overhauled and risk assessments reviewed. If not, this will happen again.”