A father who overturned a tipper truck at an industrial estate, killing his son on his twelfth birthday, has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Tony Aitken was driving the Ford Transit Tipper truck at the Langar Industrial Estate with three children in the front seat, which was designed for only two passengers, on May 4.
Aitken lost control of the vehicle and his 12-year-old son, Melton schoolboy Luke Bayes Aitken, was thrown from the vehicle.
Luke, a Year 7 pupil at John Ferneley College who had been celebrating his birthday that day, died from his injuries when the truck fell on top of him.
The other children in the vehicle, aged 12 and five, were treated in hospital for minor injuries.
Having pleaded guilty to the charges of causing death by dangerous driving and driving the truck without a licence and insurance, Aitken (33), formerly of Melton, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Friday, November 20) for sentencing.
In addition to his jail term he was banned from driving for seven years.
A man who gave a false statement about the incident, Daniel Johnson (29), of Tooting, London, was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for one year. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.
The devastating news of Luke’s death in May sparked a huge outpouring of public support in Melton for Luke’s mum, Amy, with people and businesses rallying round to raise funds to help her and her family. John Ferneley College principal Christine Stansfield described Luke as ‘a really well liked student.’
Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Ged Hazelwood said: “Luke’s death was the tragic consequence of a very irresponsible decision by his father to drive a truck that he wasn’t qualified to drive, and to drive it dangerously without any apparent thought for the dangers it presented. It’s fortunate the other children were not more seriously injured.
“It’s devastating for Luke’s family that their son has lost his life because his father failed to appreciate those dangers before getting behind the wheel of the truck on that day.”