Drink Driver on Mobile Phone
A drink-driver has been jailed for six years for killing a woman by ploughing into her car at high speed while using a mobile phone.
Preston Crown Court heard that Sarah Taylor, 23, was driving at 95mph when she collided head-on with the broken-down car of Melanie Lee, 35.
Miss Lee had lost control of her BMW mini convertible on the M61 near Brindle, Lancashire, and came to rest facing the wrong way after hitting the central reservation barrier.
She was attempting to climb out of the window of her damaged car when Ms Taylor's Fiat Stilo struck her and sent her flying out of the car, the court heard. Miss Lee died from multiple internal injuries.
The first thing that Taylor, of Blackley, Manchester, said after the collision was "I was on my phone, I was on my phone." She had been drinking and was more than twice the legal limit, later giving a reading of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Judge Norman Wright said the message must go out to the public that cars could be lethal weapons if not driven properly and that people should never use hand-held mobile phones when driving.
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a shocking road traffic accident which occurred in circumstances that could and should have been avoided.
"I welcome the prison sentence imposed here.
"The increased risks of having a road accident when drunk or when using a hand-held phone are well known. It staggers me to think a driver was content to be both drunk and using a hand-held phone.
"I regularly represent people who have been injured or killed in road crashes. Such victims can be drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians."