Woman jailed for seriously injuring elderly couple in a drunken crash - Redbourn


An alcoholic, who was nearly four times over the drink drive limit when she crashed and seriously injured an elderly couple in another car, was jailed for 2 and a half years today, Friday, 21 April 2017, and banned from driving for life.

Karen Tilley, aged 54, lost control of her father's blue Skoda Octavia on the Redbourn bypass in Hertfordshire. She struck a blue Clio travelling in the opposite direction before ploughing into a silver Clio being driven by an 87-year-old man, with his wife, aged 86, in the passenger seat.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Tilley said she had consumed three-quarters of a bottle of vodka until 4 o'clock that morning. She was driving to visit her father in hospital from his home in Harpenden when the crash happened on the A5183 Dunstable Road at 1.24 in the afternoon on 29 October last year.

Ann Evans, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said the couple were driving home to Hemel Hempstead behind the other Clio when they were hit. Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to cut the couple free. "The wife was so severely injured she was flown by air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital where she was in an induced coma for a week. She suffered spinal fractures, severe internal bleeding, many rib fractures, damaged vertebrae, and was in hospital for six weeks. The husband, a former road safety officer with Herts County Council, suffered rib fractures, cuts and bruises.

Tilley of Coldhams Lane, Cambridge, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, having no insurance and no licence. She had a previous drink drive conviction from 2003.

Richard Gregory, defending, said she had been on her way to visit her father, who was being treated in hospital for bowel cancer. He went on: "She drinks to deal with her difficulties. In 2005 she was diagnosed as bi-polar."

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "It could easily have been a causing death by dangerous driving case. It is a miracle the wife survived. A disqualification from driving for life is the only way to keep the public safe."

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