A 39-YEAR-OLD man who fell asleep at the wheel on the M4 near Chippenham, killing three men, has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Stephen Parry Jenkins, from South Wales, was found guilty of three charges of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced this morning at Swindon Crown Court.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years and three months.

Steven Sheldon, 35, and James Stark, 37, both from Rhondda Cynon Taf and 36-year-old Martin Williams, from Trecynon, all died in the collision close to junction 17 of the M4 on June 9, 2014.

Sergeant Barrie Card, from Wiltshire Police, said: “This was a tragic incident for all involved; for those who died, the family of those men, the surviving victims and even the driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

“This sort of incident could happen to anyone.

“My message to all motorists is to make sure they are properly rested before setting off on their journey and must take a rest during it.

“Falling asleep at the wheel doesn't happen straight away, you will get tell-tale signs and that's when you must act before it's too late.

“Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and take a break, a rest and, if needed, a nap.

“Only continue your journey once you feel refreshed; drink some coffee, make sure your vehicle is not too hot inside and that there is fresh air coming in.

“Also ask your passengers to keep you in conversation or, if you are driving alone, have the radio on.

“Every driver owes it to themselves, their passengers and other road users to make sure they are fit to get behind the wheel and that includes not being too tired. The road safety message: ‘Tiredness Kills’ is true and sadly so true in this tragic case.”