'Tired' driver jailed after head-on crash killed teenage aspiring actress

David Harding
Contributor
Victim Rosie Roebuck (Sussex Police)

An IT worker who killed a 16-year-old girl when he crashed into her car while driving while tired has been jailed.

Aspiring actress Rosie Roebuck, from Chiddingfold in Surrey, was a rear seat passenger in a Volkswagen Golf when a blue Peugeot car, driven by IT worker Daniel Scales, 49, hit her car head-on.

The crash happened near Petworth in West Sussex on July 9, 2018.

Investigations revealed the Peugeot had been travelling at approximately 43mph in the 30mph zone and no brakes had been applied prior to the collision, Sussex Police said.

Rosie sustained serious injuries and died the next day.

She had been travelling home from a day at the beach with her mother, sister and boyfriend, who were all treated for serious injuries.

Scales, of George V Avenue, Worthing, also sustained serious injuries and was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting for treatment.

He told witnesses at the scene that he had been driving home from work that day, having left early because he felt tired, and said he must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The tragedy happened close to the town of Petworth, West Sussex (Getty)

Scales was subsequently interviewed via voluntary attendance, and charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court last month, and was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment, of which he must serve a minimum of 14 months.

He was also disqualified from driving for 38 months and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

Judge William Ashworth, in sentencing, acknowledged Scales’ early guilty plea, his previous good character, and clear and genuine remorse at causing the death of Rosie.

He added: “It is accepted that this is a case of dangerous driving where you deliberately drove, knowing you were deprived of adequate rest, and aggravated by travelling above the speed limit in a 30mph limit.

“If the accident had been at a lower speed the consequences would have been less.

“A family, friends and community have suffered the loss of Rosie Roebuck, whom her mother described as a caring, intuitive, clever and talented 16-year-old with a promising future ahead of her.”

In a victim impact statement, Rosie’s family added: “We are so proud of what Rosie had achieved in her 16 short years, and of the fun-loving, life-embracing, go-getting young woman she was.

“From the many messages we received, it is clear how well thought of she was and how many lives she touched.”

Investigating officer Tony Crisp, of the Sussex Police serious collision investigations unit, said: “This was a terrible and tragic collision which has affected families and communities alike, but one that could have been avoided.”

He added: “As this crash demonstrates, the consequences of driving whilst tired can be devastating.”

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