A DRUG driver has been jailed after crashing head-on with a van and then fleeing the scene leaving one of her passengers to die in the back seat.

Kathryn Watkins, 35, of no fixed addresss, called her friend Alex Edney on the afternoon of May 25 and asked him to give her a lift from Hastings to Peterborough.

Mr Edney, 44, and his friend immediately drove to pick Watkins and another woman up, who both sat in the back of the car.

The Argus:

They took it in turns to drive, before the Vauxhall Astra was in a head-on collision with a Mercedes Sprinter van while Watkins was at the wheel.

Watkins fled on foot while Mr Adney was in the back seat struggling to breathe. 

Officers and paramedics arrived at the scene of the crash on an industrial estate on Southgate Way, Peterborough, and Mr Edney, 44, of Romsey Close, Aldershot, Hampshire, was declared dead at the scene.

In a statement released at the time his family said: “Alex was a loving son, grandson, dad and brother. He was a good friend to many, always willing to help others and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

The Argus:

Police later received a call from the ambulance service requesting help at a house in Fellows Gardens, Peterborough.

Police found Watkins with a suspected broken wrist.

She was taken to hospital as a precaution and later arrested in relation to the fatal collision.

Watkins suffered severe bruising to her ankle, left forearm, chest and thigh. Her friend was left with a broken arm.

When remanded in custody Watkins had a blood test which revealed she was over the legal alcohol limit to drive.

The blood test also showed that the levels of Benzoylecgonine, a cocaine breakdown product, were approximately 800 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 50 microgrammes.

Watkins was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured, failing to stop and common assault. Her friend faced no further action.

Watkins pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious Injury by dangerous driving and common assault at Peterborough Crown Court today yesterday.

She was sentenced on the same day, where Judge Sean Enright handed her 10 years in prison. She was also disqualified from driving for 12 years.

Sergeant Mark Dollard, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Watkins was on an inevitable path of destruction that night and a serious collision was inevitable.

“Her driving was truly atrocious; she knew she had consumed alcohol and drugs but selfishly gave no regard for the safety of others.

“Watkins’ actions after the collision were even more horrendous. She gave no care as to the extent of Mr Edney’s injuries, showing more concern for her belongings than that of another human being who was supposed to be her friend.

“She then fled the scene prior to police arrival, without ever checking on Mr Edney who lay dying in the back of the car.

“It was only through hard work that the police were able to find Watkins and build a case that left her with no option but to plead guilty today.

“Drink and drug driving is illegal, dangerous and risks lives - this case is yet another reminder of that.

“People can help us make the roads of Cambridgeshire safer for everyone by confidentially reporting others they suspect of driving while under the influence.”