Epileptic driver jailed

An epileptic driver who failed to tell the DVLA about his condition has been jailed for three and a half years for causing the death of a young woman by dangerous driving.

Laura Williams, 23, from Chelmsford, was killed when Giles Furnival of Winfields, Basildon, struck the car in which she was travelling as a front seat passenger.

Laura had been travelling in her boyfriend’s car when it was hit at speed between junctions 30 and 29 of the M25 at Thurrock on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. She was seriously injured and died in hospital two days later.

Furnival, 33, was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, June 23, 2011 having previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He was also disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

Inspector Keith Whiting from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “Our investigation showed that Mr Furnival had suffered from epilepsy since he was a teenager but had never informed the DVLA.

“He suffered several epileptic episodes every month and it appears it was only a matter of time before he suffered an episode at the wheel.

“Unfortunately Laura Williams was the innocent victim in this incident. She had been shopping with her boyfriend and was the front seat passenger in his car which was being driven carefully in lane one of the M25 when it was struck at speed by Furnival’s vehicle returning from the hard shoulder.

“Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this time. I thank them all for their help and understanding with the investigation.

“I’m sure they would join me in saying to anyone driving with an unmanaged medical condition that they should think before they drive in future before someone else if killed or seriously injured and remember that people who cause this type of suffering face a jail sentence.”

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