Hit-and-run driver narrowly avoids jail after Chesterfield crash left man dead

The case was heard at Derby Crown Court.
The case was heard at Derby Crown Court.

A driver has narrowly avoided jail after fleeing the scene of a collision in Chesterfield which left a man dead.

Rachel Reeve collided with Gavin Treweek, of Devon Drive, Brimington, then went through a red light before driving down country lanes 'in shock and panic' for 14 miles with a damaged windscreen from the collision.

The accident took place on the A619 Rother Way in Chesterfield at around 12.30am in the early hours of May 28 last year.

Reeve, of Dowdeswell Street, Chesterfield, parked her vehicle overnight but confided what had happened to her father who, the following day, talked her into going to a police station to confess.

The 42-year-old then pleaded guilty to failing to stop following an accident and dangerous driving but denied causing death by careless driving.

That case was sent to trail at Derby Crown Court where she was acquitted of the more serious charge.

Sentencing Reeve to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: "I find it as a fact that you did know you had hit a human being and failing to stop following the collision was morally reprehensible.

"You drove for 14 miles down A-roads and country lanes with a damaged windscreen.

"You went through a red light in your shock and panic and this was a prolonged piece of driving.

"And although driving away was morally reprehensible I make it perfectly clear that you were acquitted by the jury of causing death by careless driving and I find it as fact that you are not responsible for causing Mr Treweek's death."

Reeve, who was then working as a lorry driver, collided with Mr Treweek as he crossed the road before fleeing to Rowsley.

She handed herself into the police the following day after speaking to her father.

Judge Shant said: "This is a very sad case (which the) gentleman's family had to sit and listen through and that must have been hard for them to bear.

"Nothing I do to you will lessen their pain and grief."

Reeve admitted dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Clive Stockwell, mitigating, said his client 'panicked' following the collision and fled the scene.

He said: "No-one else was caused injury, there was no damage to any property and there is no evidence that anyone was caused any inconvenience.

"She is transgender and is currently using hormone patches and intends to have surgery in due course.

"Should she go into custody she will go into a male prison as she’s currently deemed to be male.

"Custody in a male environment would have an immediate and devastating impact on her."

As well as the suspended sentence, Judge Shant disqualified Reeve from driving for 12 months, endorsed her licence with 10 points and ordered her to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.