A FAIRGROUND owner from Selston says a judge has placed too low a price on life after he jailed a lorry driver who caused the deaths of two people – including his son – for just six months.
Lawrence Bishton, 59, says he lost his best friend and business heir when his 30-year-old son Brandon died in the crash on the M62 near Goole.
Speaking outside Hull Crown Court, Mr Bishton, of Guildhall Drive, said: “I had hoped that two men’s lives, both in their prime, would have merited more than a six-month sentence. It has put a very low price on life. He will be out in two months.”
Lorry driver Mark Saunders, 37, drove his 10-tonne Volvo truck into Brandon and 46-year-old employee Melvyn Milan, from Chesterfield, while they were trying to fix a broken down Nissan Navara pick-up on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
The pick-up had broken down at around 11.50am on December 3 2010 and Mr Milan had put the bonnet up and was at the front of the vehicle at the time of the collision.
Brandon had walked down the nearside of the vehicle away from the motorway towards the back of the Nissan.
The court was told that the truck driven by Mr Saunders went from the inside lane into the hard shoulder. It ploughed into Brandon crushing him between the two vehicles. His speed was estimated at around 51mph.
Saunders, of Eccles, Manchester, denied causing death by dangerous driving, but admitted two charges of causing death by careless driving.
His barrister Andrew Campbell said: “Mr Saunders is full of remorse. He is a thoroughly decent man. He is only too aware his horror and distress at what happened is nothing to the suffering by the families of the deceased.”
Sentencing Saunders, Judge Michael Mettyear said: “There was not any risk taking. There was no suggestion whatsoever that the driving was affected by drugs, or drink, racing or using a mobile telephone.”
He also said he agreed with a police accident investigator who concluded that ‘Mr Saunders seems to have lost his positional awareness on the carriageway’.
The judge added: “Whether fatigue, boredom or the featureless landscape of snow-covered countryside around him caused the distraction is a matter for speculation.”
Brandon, who leaves behind his wife Crystal and children Jada and Chloe, was a director in Carousel Rides, a company which owns fairground rides.
Speaking afterwards, Lawrence Bishton described his son as a ‘gentle giant’.
He added: “I miss everything about him. We worked together. We planned together. He would do anything for me that you could not ask an employee to do and telephone me at 2am with ideas to fix things.
“He played cards and loved his children – Crystal and Brandon were true soul-mates. He used to say he was living the dream – that is what we painted on the truck he drove. I drove him on the back of it to his funeral.”