News

Van driver who killed motorcyclist also hit schoolboy in fatal crash 15 years earlier

A van driver who hit and killed a motorcyclist after going through a red light had previously crashed into a schoolboy who died while crossing the road.

Kurt Sammon, 54, collided with 13-year-old Michael Weaver in 2004, as the youngster crossed.

He was later jailed for six months, after prosecutors dropped a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Then 15 years later, Sammon killed a motorcyclist when he went through a red light and hit 30-year-old Louis McGovern, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Prosecutor Rob Hall said Sammon had one of the ‘worst driving records I’ve ever seen’.

After a trial, Sammon, who has a car valeting company, was unanimously found guilty of causing the death of Mr McGovern by dangerous driving.

The judge told him he is likely to be jailed when he is sentenced in June.

In 2004 Sammon, from Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, hit Michael as he crossed the road to go to a takeaway with his brother and cousin in Kingsway, Burnage..

He left the scene of the crash, with Michael dying almost instantly.

Prosecutors later offered no evidence to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, after a judge ruled a statement from a witness could not be read to a jury because it contained a number of inconsistencies.

Sammon was later jailed for six months, after admitting careless driving, failing to stop, failing to report an accident, driving without insurance and without an MOT.

Michael’s mother described the sentence he received as ‘pathetic’.

Then 15 years later, Sammon, who also has previous convictions for driving while disqualified and using a mobile phone while driving, crashed into Mr McGovern’s motorbike.

The crash happened in Hazel Grove on the A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road, at its junction with the A523 Macclesfield Road.

Traffic lights had been on red for three seconds by the time Sammon’s red Transit van passed through.

He crashed into Mr McGovern as he moved off into the junction.

After, Sammon told police officers: “I was just going to do a quote for a job, I didn’t see him.”

He had been travelling at an average speed of 24mph prior to the collision, which happened at about 5.40pm on January 15, 2019.

There was no evidence of him using emergency breaking, Minshulll Street Crown Court heard.

Mr McGovern suffered traumatic brain injuries, a fractured vertebrae, a number of broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Sammon tried to blame Mr McGovern, prosecutors alleged, by telling police that the motorbike hit his van ‘at speed’.

Mr McGovern had ‘right of way’ and ‘no blame at all’ could be attributed to him, jurors heard.

Tests after the crash gave Sammon a negative reading for drugs and alcohol.

Prosecutors said he may have been distracted by using his phone, with call data showing he received calls during the journey.

Sammon said he used his handsfree Bluetooth kit, and also stopped his van to use his phone.

In a police interview, Sammon said he didn’t see the motorcycle until all of a sudden ‘the motorcyclist hit my van’.

At trial, jurors were told he ‘can’t really give an explanation’ why he didn’t see the red light.

Sammon, of Willow Avenue, Cheadle Hulme, was given bail before the sentencing hearing.

He had already admitted causing death by careless driving and an interim driving ban is already in place.