Bus driver jailed for 18 months after falling asleep at the wheel and causing collision on A3102
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A bus driver who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel when he collided with an oncoming vehicle has been jailed for 18 months.
Xavier Peediyakal, 32, of Beatrice Street, Gorse Hill, Swindon, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court on July 7.
On July 12, 2022, Peediyakal was driving a double decker bus on the A3102 between Calne and Lyneham when his vehicle crossed onto the opposite side of the carriageway on a bend, colliding with a BMW X6.
The driver of the BMW – a man in his 60s from Calne - sustained multiple injuries including several fractures and internal injuries. He required several reconstruction surgeries and is likely to suffer long term pain in his wrist.
There were a small number of passengers on the bus who sustained minor injuries.
PC Leigh Mayhew, of the Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “Peediyakal was driving a double decker bus to Chippenham where he was due to take a 45 minute break, having been on shift for approximately four hours. However, prior to the collision, he was displaying all the warning signs of extreme tiredness. There was an opportunity to pull over and take a short break, but he failed to do so and in continuing with his journey, he put himself, his passengers, and other road users lives at risk.
“Peediyakal has shown remorse for his actions but in sentencing, the Judge made it very clear that he hoped this sentence would send a clear message to drivers, especially those operating large vehicles, of their responsibilities to operate safely. Tiredness can kill – please take a break if you feel that your tiredness is likely to impact your ability to drive safely.
“While it is fortunate that nobody was killed during this collision, the victim - who was driving with his granddaughter at the time - sustained serious injuries which have impacted his lifestyle immensely.”
In a statement provided to the court, the victim said: “ Over the past year, I have been having therapy for the emotional trauma I have experienced as a result of the collision.
"My granddaughter was in the car with me when we were hit. I was unconscious in the car and when I came round, I recall people telling me the baby was ok. I keep playing this back and it has given me very vivid nightmares and affected my sleep.
"I used to very much enjoy keeping myself fit, but I am still unable to do any exercise. I worry I won’t be able to do any again and will resort to a more sedentary life being sat in a chair. I still have very limited use of my arm.”
As well as the 18 month prison sentence, Peediyakal was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 48 months, and ordered to pay a surcharge of £187.