We welcome the sentencing of a 23-year-old man today (Thursday 24 June) following a fatal road traffic collision in Speke in February 2019.
Colin Smith of Lavender Gardens, Warrington, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court, following a trial after pleading not guilty to all charges. He was jailed for 11 years for:
• Two counts of causing death by dangerous driving
• One count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving
• Four counts of fraud
• One count of receiving stolen goods
• One count of section 5a drug driving
Smith also received a ten and a half year driving ban.
On Thursday 28 February 2019, emergency services were called to Hale Drive following a collision between three cars (a white Ford Fiesta, a red Ford Fiesta and a red Ford C-Max) and two cyclists.
The two cyclists, Tony Cope, aged 39, and Clare Killey, aged 45, were taken to hospital but both sadly died as a result of their injuries.
The driver of the white Ford Fiesta, Colin Smith, initially made off from the scene and returned later.
Smith provided a positive roadside test for cannabis, was arrested by police and later charged.
Both victims have left behind families with children.
In a statement, Anthony Cope’s partner said that she was “existing, not living in a kind of limbo” since her “loving, caring” partner’s death.
She said: “Losing Tony has left a massive hole in our lives. He was everything to us. He is my last thought before I go to sleep and my first when I wake up. It still feels surreal as this is the kind of thing that happens to other people. I still have to catch my breath when I realise he’s gone and I can’t see him or hold him.”
Clare Killey’s widower said in a statement that his family was “damaged beyond full repair forever” following the accident.
He said: “I hope the defendant feels remorse. I know he must because he’s human…I refuse to feel hatred towards him because it will only grow down towards my kids and I’m not having that. Nothing can change what happened or bring back my amazing wife who’s job and personality was all about helping people and improving the lives of other families. I just hope he feels it in every decision he makes and lives his life in accordance with those feelings in Clare’s name.”
Following the sentencing, Roads Policing Inspector Stuart McIver said: “No sentence can repair the devastation of what happened but we hope that today’s result can at least provide some comfort to the family and friends of the victims, who have shown great bravery and strength through the trial.
“Smith has been left in no doubt about the consequences of his reckless actions, which he can now reflect on while serving significant jail time.
“Driving while under the influence of drugs and driving dangerously can have fatal consequences and I hope this shows others that they will be put before the courts and prosecuted it they are found guilty of similar offences.
“Our priority is to keep our communities safe and to prosecute any driver who puts the lives of others at risk. Every fatal collision impacts upon the lives of so many people, and we’re committed to reducing such incidents and putting those who drive dangerously before the courts.”
If you suspect anyone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs, please contact us via @MerPolCC on Twitter, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.
We also work with Aftermath, a registered charity providing immediate and expert support for all those involved in road traffic collisions. More details can be found here: https://www.aftermathsupport.org.uk/