Man charged with causing friend's death
A FOOTBALLER from Tiverton has been accused of causing the death of a friend in a tragic collision on the M5 earlier this year.
Tom Pilling, 25, of Pinnex Moor Road, will go on trial in connection with an accident on the southbound carriageway, near Taunton, in which Daniel Gunn, 24, died and a third man, Thomas Moyes, suffered life-changing injuries.
Pilling has played for the Tiverton Town, Elmore and Cullompton Rangers clubs. He faces a charge of causing Mr Gunn's life by driving without due care and attention and is due to appear at Taunton Crown Court on November 4. He is also accused of driving with no insurance.
Mr Gunn died as a result of the crash, which involved a Citroen Saxo car, between junctions 25 and 26 (Wellington).
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Pilling and Thomas Moyes were cut from the vehicle and taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton . Pilling was treated for non-life threatening injuries after the accident at around 6.15am on Saturday, March 9. He also faces a charge of driving without insurance.
A group of footballers who knew Pilling were travelling to a game in Wiltshire and passed the scene of the collision.
By the time the match kicked off, many of the players had learned that those involved in the accident were known to them.
Elmore manager Pete Buckingham told the Gazette following the incident, that he knew Pilling and wished him a speedy recovery.
"On the way up we saw the debris of the accident but we didn't think for a minute it would involve anyone we knew," Mr Buckingham said.
Both Pilling and Gunn had been involved in the sport from a young age and had both made more than 100 appearances for the Tiverton youth side, Twyford Spartans.
Willand Reserves called off their match against St Martin's, who sympathised and agreed to the postponement, out of respect to Mr Gunn.
Thomas Moyes was in intensive care for several weeks after the accident.