A drunk and speeding driver has today been jailed after killing a student.
David Turner had consumed ten pints of lager and two alcoholic shots and was driving at “Motorway Speeds” of between 50-60mph in a 20mph zone when his Audi S3 ploughed into teenager Gabriel Fields.
The 19-year-old Salford University student suffered multiple injuries and sadly died shortly after the collision despite the efforts of emergency crews at the scene.
The collision happened at shortly after 10pm on Saturday, July 4th 2020 on Station Road in Kirkham as Gabriel was walking to a local shop where he had a part-time job.
Turner, who had been drinking all afternoon, lost control of his car and mounted the pavement hitting Gabriel whose body was thrown on to a grassed area. The car then crashed into a bench and collided with a tree.
As well as the fatal injuries caused to Gabriel one of Turner’s passengers suffered a number of serious injuries and two others less serious injuries.
David Turner, 31, of Martin Avenue, Lytham, admitted one count of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was sentenced at Preston Crown Court today (Thursday, November 4th) to 10 years for the death by dangerous driving and 16 months to run concurrently for the serious injury by dangerous driving. The sentence was reduced to 7.5 years with credit for the guilty pleas.
He was also sentenced to a five-year driving ban to take effect upon his release from prison, after which he will also have to re-sit an extended re-test.
Sgt Finn Quainton, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Gabriel’s death was totally unnecessary. It happened because of David Turner’s complete disregard for the drink driving laws and because he drove so selfishly fast that he lost control of the car. Gabriel Fields had no alcohol in his system and was innocently walking on the pavement”.
“David Turner was in fact an accident waiting to happen. Through that afternoon Turner had driven at excessive speed and bullied traffic. His aggressive driving meant a car crash was, in fact, inevitable. That he killed Gabriel Fields turned that into a tragedy”.
“My thoughts today remain with all of Gabriel’s loved ones and I hope that today’s sentence can bring them at least some comfort.”
Gabriel’s mum Jacqueline Blache-Rostron said: “It is very difficult to put into words the impact of losing a child. Gabe was a kind, gentle, smart and funny young man. Gabe was a son, brother and friend to many. Gabe was only 19 years old and had just completed his 1st year studying psychology at an undergraduate level. His choice of degree shows the type of person Gabe was”.
“Nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for the devastation and emptiness you feel when you are told that your child, someone that you gave birth to, are meant to protect, who you would do anything for, who you love more than anything else in this world, that they will never come home. You will never see him again, you will never hug him again, you will never tell him that you love him again and you will never tell him how proud you are of him. All because of the actions of that man.”
Gabriel’s step dad Adam Rostron said: “I have had the privilege of being Gabriel’s step-father and friend for 10 years. I could not have asked for a better son. If I can be more like Gabriel then I know I will be better for it”.
“I look back and there are so many memories that we have together – holidays, bike rides, pointless chats. Milestones such as starting high school, learning how to properly ride a bike, getting a pet. I am sad and angry that Gabriel will never have the opportunity to graduate university, get married, achieve his dream job, buy his own house. I am sad and angry that I will not have the opportunity to help guide him if or when he became a father. I am sad and angry that I will not get the opportunity to ask him to pick his clothes up, turn his music down or get up out of bed in the morning. I am sad and angry that I will not have the opportunity, as Gabriel grew older, for us to be best friends as adults, something I had always said and knew would happen.”