Van driver convicted for crash that leaves motorcyclist paralysed

  • Watch footage of the crash from Sussex Police

A van driver who pulled out of a junction, into the path of an oncoming motorcycle in East Sussex, has been convicted in court.

The rider, who's now paralysed from the chest down, was travelling eastbound on Folders Lane East when he hit the vehicle in August 2019.

The Citroen van driver failed to stop as he exited and turned right from the junction of Ditchling Common Industrial Estate.

A doctor stopped at the scene and helped to administer CPR, before the motorcyclist was flown to St George's Hospital in London with multiple injuries. The rider continues to receive rehabilitation treatment.

Graham Ashen, 58, of Ropeland Way, Horsham, pleaded guilty to careless driving and was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Lewes Crown Court.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years and must take an extended re-test should he wish to drive again.

Mr Ashen was ordered required to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £3,500 costs.

Investigating officer Tudor Wells, of the Serious Collision Investigations Unit, said: "We've released this footage with the full consent of the victim and his family to highlight the consequences of careless driving. Had Ashen stopped and paid proper attention to other road users, and given way as he was instructed to do by the road signage and road markings, then this terrible collision could have been avoided.

"By failing to follow these simple rules, he has caused another man to sustain life-changing injuries.

"It's important to add that the motorcyclist was wearing high visibility clothing and was correctly positioned in the road at the time of the collision, and was in no way at fault.

"We will continue to investigate serious collisions and bring to justice those who compromise the safety of themselves and others on our roads in Sussex."