Driver jailed for killing RAC worker at roadside

12-month sentence and two-year driving disqualification but family says it's not enough

Driver jailed for killing RAC worker at roadside
Kupinskyj may have been distracted by an upcoming race he had gambled on, the judge said.

A man who killed a recovery worker while he was repairing a broken-down vehicle has been jailed for 12 months.

Gary Kupinskyj was found guilty of causing the death by careless driving after David Stokes of Derby died at the scene of the crash on the A617 in Nottinghamshire on 15 June 2018.

The sentencing judge said Kupinskyj may have been distracted by an upcoming race he had gambled on.

Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said: “Some, part, or all of your attention was fixed on that and not on your driving..

“You perhaps zoned out of the drive to some extent.”

Nottingham Crown Court had heard how the 33-year-old father-of-three was fixing a van in a lane on the dual carriageway near Rainworth when he was hit by Kupinskyj.

“Died doing a job he loved”

Following sentencing, Mr Stokes’s family said he had “died doing a job he loved”.

His uncle Neil Stokes said the sentence “should have been a lot harsher”.

Mr Stokes’s, Natira Clarke said: “The only time he’s (Kupinskyj) ever shown remorse was when they found him guilty, and that was for himself.”

Related: Recovery and repair firm fined over death of mechanic

Kupinskyj, who was cleared of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving, was disqualified from driving for two years.

A spokesman for the RAC said: “The loss of our colleague David in the line of duty was utterly tragic for his family as well as being a terrible blow to all his colleagues.

“Our thoughts continue to be with David’s family.”

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Home Page Forums Driver jailed for killing RAC worker at roadside

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  • #191994 Reply

    A man who killed a recovery worker while he was repairing a broken-down vehicle has been jailed for 12 months. Gary Kupinskyj was found guilty of caus
    [See the full post at: Driver jailed for killing RAC worker at roadside]

    #192030 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    Kill someone with a knife and you’ll get 25 years in jail, do it with a car and you’ll get 12 months. What a joke !. Those poor children will grow up without their Dad because that man wasn’t paying attention. This kind of death needs a much stiffer sentence.

    #192049 Reply
    Peter Miles

    A joke of a sentence. Two years, and he’ll be out in one or less, and a two year ban? For not being able to concentrate enough to see a bright orange van with flashing lights ahead of him and so killing someone that doesn’t seem enough.

    #192051 Reply
    John Dowkes

    The 12month sentence is an insult to the patrol who tragically lost his life and also to his family/friends. I work doing the same job and have had so many near misses. How do people not see an orange or yellow van/truck with flashing orange beacons sat at the roadside 18metres from the casualty vehicle. Well the answer is simple. There is too many drivers concentrating on the phone texting, sending snapchats or scrolling through facebook whilst been in charge of a motor vehicle. Keep off your bloody phones and concentrate on the road ahead.
    I was saddened to hear that an innocent life was lost due to the carelessness of one person and the race the KILLER bet on is no excuse but I hope he lost a massive amount of money. The family of the deceased have to live their lives now without their loved one and he was doing doing the job he loved.

    #192209 Reply
    Steve Shinnick

    I agree with David’s family, the sentence should have been much harsher. Indeed I find it almost insulting to the deceased’s family that the defendant who will undoubtedly serve considerably less time than the 2 year sentence.

    It’s time the industry re-evaluates ‘Roadside Assistance’. The casualty vehicle should be moved to a safe working area before any repair is attempted. In this case no doubt David would have had his vehicle’s rotating flashing beacon on and possibly hazard warning lights, regrettably to no avail.

    Many of these accidents can be avoided. I have served as chairman of the Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators Ltd (AVRO). The Association was founded in 1977 and represents vehicle recovery operators throughout the whole of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

    The recovery industry has embarked on a ‘Slowdown and Move Over’ campaign. This initiative originated in the United States and was introduced to help protect Highway Patrol officers and was quickly adopted by the American towing industry.

    It has proved to be largely ineffective as drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impaired vision, using their mobile phones or suffering tiredness etc. are clearly incapable of slowing down and moving over.

    Prior to its privatisation, the Highways Agency introduced a radar system which is mounted on the back of a vehicle. If an approaching vehicle enters a collision course with the fend-off vehicle the equipment gives an audible warning giving the operatives around 6 to 7 seconds to get out of harm’s way.

    This could be just as easy to develop for the recovery industry allowing for varying scenarios where for example the recovery vehicle is in front of the casualty vehicle etc. Consequently, I will forward a copy of this Garage Wire to the current AVRO chairman asking him to evaluate my proposal.

    #192539 Reply

    All mobile phones should be automatically disabled through the phone OS to not allow any intervention once it detects you are moving. except through hands free . This would then disable anybody from using there phone whilst in a car and that would include passengers distracting drivers by shoving phones in there faces while driving

    #192602 Reply
    Clive Wilson

    12 months and the mitigation was a bet.5 years full term Why do we appease behaviour like this?

    #200496 Reply

    I also do this job for a living and a lot of public don’t realise how dangerous it can be. I have had quite a few near misses over the last few years and it is getting steadily worse lately with the majority of drivers either staring at their phones or not prepared in any way for something out of the ordinary being in the road at any time.

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