Man sentenced for causing collision that killed pregnant colleague in Polegate

A driver who fell asleep at the wheel, killing his 22-year-old passenger in a crash on the A27 by Polegate, has been sentenced, according to police.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 10:33 am

Police said Niklaus Warner, 29, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at court on June 23, 2021.

The charges came after a two-vehicle collision around 5.15am on June 4, 2020 in which Meghan Pollentine – who was travelling in the same car as Warner – sadly died.

Warner had been driving him and his colleague Meghan back from Havant, Hampshire, following the end of their night shift working as mental health carers and assisting with patient transport, according to police.

Meghan Pollentine. Picture from Sussex Police. SUS-210823-102315001

A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “They had been travelling for around one hour and 15 minutes when the silver Ford KA Warner was driving was seen to veer over onto the other side of the carriageway, crashing into an oncoming white Ford Transit van.

“Emergency services rushed to attend but sadly Meghan could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The driver of the van suffered extensive, life-changing injuries and spent a month in hospital following the collision.

“Warner was arrested and in interview, said he couldn’t recall the journey or why his car crossed into the opposing carriageway.”

Police said officers investigating the collision viewed dash cam footage from the vehicle travelling behind Warner’s car which showed the Ford KA veering over the central white line on a number of occasions before the collision, and showed no braking had taken place in the moments immediately prior to the collision.

Warner, of School Road in Hastings, admitted both offences and was sentenced to three years imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, August 20, 2021, according to police.

Investigating officer PC Doug Park said, “This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided had Niklaus Warner taken appropriate breaks in his journey.

“He had many opportunities to stop and rest, to ensure he wasn’t continuing a long journey while tired, but he chose not to take them. That choice has ultimately resulted in the death of a much-loved 22-year-old woman.

“Driving while tired poses a serious danger to yourself and all other road users, and it is not worth the risk.”

Following her death it was found that Meghan, who was from Bexhill, was five months pregnant with a baby boy, according to police.

Her family said, “We lost our dear Meg a year ago in this very tragic accident. Meghan was passionate and happy-go-lucky, she had an infectious laugh and was overall a beautiful soul. Our lives will never be the same again after Meghan was so suddenly taken from us.”