Fatal crash leads to manslaughter case
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by David Harris • A couple who run a Northamptonshire catering firm have been charged with manslaughter after a road accident involving one of their company's lonies last year.
Matilda Susan Morgan of Blackwell Hill. West Hunsbury, Northants, and Brian Stanley Nobes of the same address have been released on unconditional police bail to appear before Dartford magistrates on 8 May.
The charges arose out of an accident last August when Michelle Shields, 11, from Rochester in Kent was killed after a 7.5-tonne Ford Cargo towing a trailer overturned and landed on the car in which she was travelling.
The accident happened as the car was waiting to go through a toll booth at the Dartford Tunnel (GM 22-28August 1996). Neither
of the two people charged were in the lorry when it hit the car but they run SCI Caterers, the outside catering company which was part of a convoy going to an exhibition site at the time of the accident. SC11,1 runs 10 vehicles and a number of trailers.
Kent police say: This is only the second time in this country that there has been a charge of manslaughter following a road accident. The other involved an accident at Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, when a number of people were killed by a lorry," The manslaughter in this latest charge refers to the alleged lack of maintenance of safety components in the truck. Police will allege that it had faulty brakes, was being run without an 0-licence, and that the driver—who is not being charged with manslaughter—did not have an WV licence.