A drunk driver, who killed two teenage girls in a horrific crash, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to “two counts of causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and drugs,” according to the Mirror. On December 12, 2014, 21-year-old James Battrick of Romsey Road, Cadnam, had consumed at least five pints of cider before picking up best friends Lily Butterfield-Godwin and Abbey Rogers, both 19-years-old and born on the same day, after they “enjoyed a night out” in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and were ready to go home.
Moments after the girls got into Battrick’s Mazda RX8, he was so intoxicated that he “collided with a wall and hit a brick gate pillar head on,” killing both girls. Another passenger, Kimberley Sellman, 19, in the car survived the crash, but was seriously injured, according to the Daily Mail. After an investigation ensued, police officials uncovered that Battrick’s blood alcohol level surpassed the legal limit, and high levels of cannabis were also detected. Lyndhurst police also discovered that, before the horrifying crash that killed the young teens, Battrick’s lights were not on.
— Daily Echo (@dailyecho) April 14, 2015
Sergeant Adrienne Jerram, who was the investigating officer in the case, said: “Following an evening out in Lyndhurst, the three young women got into Battrick’s car as it left the Working Man’s Club car park,” said police spokesman. “Battrick then drove it at speed along Gosport Lane, before the collision occurred. The crashed vehicle was discovered minutes later by local residents who had heard a loud noise, and alerted emergency services who arrived at the scene shortly after.”
“The high levels of alcohol and cannabis together in Battrick’s bloodstream caused serious impairment which undoubtedly was a massive contributory factor in this collision, which claimed the lives of two young women, permanently impacted the life of a third, and left all those families affected completely devastated.
Lily and Abbey were friends who were born and died on the same day. This collision was a terrible tragedy caused by the mindless actions of a young driver who should never have gotten behind the wheel that night.”
“Young people in particular need to be aware that the combination of alcohol and drugs, in this case cannabis, can seriously affect a person’s judgment, awareness, and physical driving ability,” Jerram added. “If Battrick hadn’t been drinking, or smoking cannabis that day, there is every chance that Lily and Abbey would still be with us.”
“I hope this sentence today serves as a very stark reminder. Our message is a very simple one: do not drink or take drugs and drive. Nothing is worth that risk and, like Battrick, you would have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”
After the two best friends died in the horrifying car crash, James Battrick was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty.
[Image courtesy of Pittou2 / Flickr / Creative Commons]