Collier Row pensioner banned from driving after Romford motorcyclist killed in ‘tragic’ crash

Romford motorcyclist, Donald Ukwunnah, 38, from Romford died at the scene of a crash with another ve

Romford motorcyclist, Donald Ukwunnah, 38, from Romford died at the scene of a crash with another vehicle in London Road. - Credit: Archant

A 79-year-old driver from Collier Row has been banned from driving for two years after being involved in a fatal collision with a motorcyclist on an Essex country lane.

David Harknett, of Patmore Way, failed to negotiate a bend and drifted onto the wrong side of the road on the A113 London Road in Stapleford Tawney on Saturday, September 1 last year.

The Peugeot 2008 he was driving collided with a Yamaha motorbike riding in the opposite direction.

The rider, Donald Ukwunnah, a 38-year-old bus driver from Romford, sadly died at the scene.

Harknett suffered bruised ribs and minor injuries in the collision.

He and a 74-year-old woman who was a passenger in his car were both taken to hospital after the crash.

After he recovered he was voluntarily interviewed and following an investigation, he was summonsed to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, August 7.

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He admitted causing death by careless driving and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, October 9, to a 12-month community order and banned from driving for two years.

Speaking after the sentencing, investigating officer Det Con Jac Dean of Essex Police said: "This was a tragic incident that has affected and changed the lives of all those involved.

"It is a timely reminder of how a moment's distraction or inattention when behind the wheel can have devastating consequences.

"Our thoughts are with Mr Ukwunnah's family, who must face the future and rebuild their lives without a much loved family member."

Following his tragic death, Donald's family described him as a "gentle giant".

In a statement drawn up by the family but released by Essex Police, they said: "Donald was a British-born family man described by all who knew him as a gentle giant.

"He was a long serving bus driver for more than 17 years.

"An avid traveller, he enjoyed exploring different parts of the globe. He was also a loving father, son, brother and uncle.

"We would like to express our gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy at this difficult time."