Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Drink driver jailed following fatal collision on the M6

A drink driver involved in a fatal collision on the M6 in Cheshire has been jailed.

Sukhdeep Gill, of Beardwood Brow, Blackburn, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 16 June where he was sentenced to five years in prison.

The 36-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and while over the prescribed alcohol limit.

The charges relate to a collision on the M6 northbound between junctions 19 (Knutsford) and 20 (Lymm).

In the early hours of Tuesday 21 August 2018 Gill, a delivery driver, was heading towards Blackburn in his white Mercedes Sprinter van.

His friend Junaid Akhtar, 37, was sat in the passenger seat.

Shortly after passing Junction 19 on the M6, Gill fell asleep and drifted onto the hard shoulder, where he collided with another Sprinter van.

That van was parked on the hard shoulder with its hazard lights on.

Officers estimate that Gill was travelling at approximately 70mph when the collision occurred.

Junaid, also from Blackburn, sustained serious injuries as a result of the collision and was rushed to the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, Junaid died on Tuesday 28 August, seven days after the collision.

Gill was arrested at the scene after a breathalyser found him to be more than twice over the limit.

He had 85 Ug/L microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath. The legal limit is 35 Ug/L microgrammes.

PC Liz Thompson said: “This was a tragic but entirely preventable collision caused by Gill’s poor driving and his decision to drive while under the influence.

“Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right, and it comes with great responsibility to act within the rules laid down when you pass your test.

“When you deliberately ignore those rules you put yourself and other people at great risk, as shown in the case of this terrible collision.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the victim, who have been left devastated by this tragic incident.”

On top of his custodial sentence Gill was also disqualified from driving for six years from the date of his release and will also be required to undertake and extended retests. 

Gill was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He denied this offence but admitted the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, which was accepted by the court.

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