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Van driver faces jail after admitting part in death crash
12:00pm Wednesday 18th June 2014 in News
A van driver has admitted causing death by dangerous driving which led to a fatal three-vehicle crash on the A35 last summer.
David Churcher, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of causing the death of 49-year-old Stephen Fawcett by driving a Ford Transit van dangerously, relating to a crash between three vans near Bridport on August 19, 2013.
Churcher, of Singleton Drive, Bournemouth, also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis on the same date.
Mr Fawcett, who was driving an Express Blinds van died at the scene, outside Woodlands Farm, near Uploders.
Churcher was cut free from his cab by firefighters before being airlifted from the scene by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and taken to Southampton Hospital. A third man, a 48-year-old from the Wareham area driving a silver Volkswagen Transporter, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to hospital in Dorchester.
The collision happened past the old Travellers Rest, two miles east of Bridport.
There was major traffic disruption as the A35 between Bridport and the Monkeys Jump roundabout in Dorchester was closed for several hours to allow police, firefighters and paramedics to work safely at the scene.
Heavy traffic was diverted for miles around the area while lighter vehicles used the coast road.
At Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday, he was told to expect a lengthy prison sentence by Judge Peter Johnson.
“A lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable, as is a length period of disqualification which starts today,” he said.
Representing Churcher, Les Smith said the defendant had entered his guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity to ‘relieve the anxieties’ of Mr Fawcett’s family.
Mr Smith called for the case to be adjourned for medical reports to be prepared.
“He is still under supervision at the brain injury unit at Poole Hospital. He has a brain stem injury,” he said, adding that his client currently has difficulty seeing.
Judge Johnson adjourned the case for sentencing on August 15 and Churcher was released on bail on condition that he co-operate with the probation service.
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