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A young mum died after he childhood sweetheart fiancé fell asleep at the wheel and crashed their car while driving home from Gatwick Airport, an inquest has heard.
Kayleigh Gill, 22, and Dominic Evans had been in a relationship since they were 15, PlymouthLive reports.
The pair were taking turns driving after returning from a family holiday at the Red Sea when the accident happened. It is thought Evans nodded off and crashed the vehicle into the back of a truck on the M5 near Cullompton, Devon, on January 14, 2019.
HGV driver Tristan Oates described how he found Evans sobbing by the road after his truck was struck, describing him as an "emotional wreck".
Mr Oates said he took the sobbing man back to the damaged Nissan Juke before he called the emergency services.
Paramedics treated Kayleigh at the scene before she was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she died four days later on January 18.
A post-mortem examination revealed she was killed as a result of a severe traumatic brain injury.
Evans was driving Kayleigh and their two young children, aged two and four, back from Gatwick Airport in East Sussex in the early hours of the morning after returning from a holiday with his parents and a friend of Kayleigh's.
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Kayleigh and her fiance were taking it in turns to drive as well as making regular service station coffee break stops.
However Evans explained he had no memory of what happened at 5.48am, when the crash occurred. The police investigation confirmed he was not distracted by a phone and there was no suggestion he was speeding.
He later pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
At his sentencing at Exeter Crown Court, Evans's barrister said the pair were due to be married in 2020 and had been together since they were 15.
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He was spared jail, being given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years.
The judge said: "The inevitable conclusion is that you were nodding off after your flight back to the UK. You were distraught at the scene and it is a mercy that the two children were not physically affected.
"The probation report tells me you are the carer for the two children and it is clear this has had a large impact on you and them.
"One huge factor is the effect that an immediate custodial sentence would have on the two children, who have already suffered enough. One is undergoing counselling.
"I have no doubt that every time you go behind a wheel from now on you will be thinking about the events of that day."
Senior Coroner Ian Arrow concluded that Kayleigh was killed as a result of careless driving. He offered his condolences to her heartbroken family.
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