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Man jailed over crash which killed his friend

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

By David Shepherd

Tom Pilling outside court

Tom Pilling outside court

A TIVERTON man has been jailed for causing the death of a friend in a collision on the M5 motorway earlier this year.

Footballer Tom Pilling, 25, from Pinnex Moor Road, was sentenced to six months in prison by judges at Taunton Crown Court.

He has also been banned from driving for two years after pleading guilty to causing the death of Daniel Gunn, 24, by careless driving.

Pilling also admitted a second charge of driving while uninsured before the tragic collision occurred between junctions 25 and 26 at around 6.15am on Saturday, March 9.

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At an earlier hearing the Judge, Mr Recorder Meeke, said Pilling "did not recollect how the accident happened" and accepted "in the absence of any other explanation he could have fallen asleep at the steering wheel, which caused the car to leave the carriageway."

Pilling was driving a Citroen Saxo on the southbound carriageway and the collision caused life-changing injuries to a third man, Thomas Moyes, 25.

Pilling and Mr Moyes were cut from the vehicle and taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, and the defendant was treated for non life-threatening injuries. The collision was alleged to have followed a night out in Bristol for the three men.

Both Pilling and Gunn had been involved in football locally from a young age and both had made more than 100 appearances for the Tiverton youth side, Twyford Spartans.

A group of footballers who knew Pilling, who has played for Tiverton Town, Elmore and Cullompton Rangers, were travelling to a game in Wiltshire and passed the scene of the collision. By the time the match kicked off, many of the players had learned that those involved in the accident were known to them.