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Jail for hit-and-run drunk driver who crashed into three cyclists, causing serious injuries

Sandra Graham was driving home with her daughter when she hit the members of Northumbria Cycling Club

A hit-and-run drunk driver who crashed into three cyclists, two of whom needed surgery for their injuries, has been jailed for 25 months.

Sandra Graham had gone for a drink after she and a friend took their respective daughters ice-skating to mark the start of the school summer holidays in July 2019, reports Metro.

The 48 year old, who works as a school laboratory technician, was returning home with her daughter when she hit the three members of the Northumbria Cycling Club on North Tyneside’s A193 Links Road.

She then fled the scene and drove home, but another motorist who had witnessed the crash drove after her and took a picture of her car. Her husband then drove her back to where the crash happened.

Graham, from Blyth, failed a first breath test but when tested again at the police station, was found to be right on the legal limit.

However, she was estimated to have been one and a half times over the limit at the time of the crash.

One of the cyclists, David Tickner, was left with a fractured pelvic bone and hip socket and was hospitalised for two weeks.

Another, Terry Slater, sustained fractured ribs and also needed surgery to repair torn ligaments in his shoulder and neck.

The third, Craig Scope, needed specialist treatment after losing movement in his arm and shoulder.

Graham pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and to driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop.

In mitigation, Christopher Knox told the court that Graham was not a “hardened drinker” and that she had probably drunk “more alcohol than she realised” on the afternoon of the crash.

“Her car wasn’t even scratched,” he continued. “It was the wing mirror which collided with the cyclists and caused the serious accident and unfortunately caused the terrible, serious injuries to them, for which she is mortified.

“She has learned a savage lesson,” he added.

Sentencing Graham, Judge Edward Bindloss told her: “At the start of the summer holidays on July 12, 2019 you and a friend took your respective daughters skating in the Whitley Bay area.

“Afterwards you went to the Fox pub at about 4.30pm and there, before leaving at 6pm, you drank alcohol, your recollection is cider and wine. You had nothing to eat while you were drinking it.

“Visibility was good, road conditions were good but you were intoxicated and your driving before, during and after the collision was dangerous.

“You drove your car into and collided with all three of them.

“Afterwards, in panic and no doubt with judgement affected by drink and in my judgement to avoid detection you drove away at speed, including through a red light and on the wrong side of the road.”

Besides handing down the custodial sentence, the judge also banned Graham for driving for four years.  

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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