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Drug driver jailed after killing Donington motorcyclist in crash 'carnage'

By Spalding Reporter

Lincoln Crown Court (3340009)
Lincoln Crown Court (3340009)

A driver whose overtaking move caused the death of a Donington motorcyclist and life-changing injuries to his partner has been jailed for more than six years today (Monday).

Daniel Pryce, 40, of Parklands Drive, Harlaxton, near Grantham, was sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court today after he admitted causing the death of Martin Elam (47) and serious injury to Trudy Edgington by dangerous driving.

The charges related to a crash on the A52 between Donington and Grantham in August 2017 when Mr Elam and Ms Edgington were coming back from a visit to Matlock Bath.

Robby Singh, prosecuting, told the court that Pryce was driving a Ford Galaxy people carrier, with two children inside as passengers, when he overtook another car and drove straight into the path of the oncoming motorcycle.

Court news (3340750)
Court news (3340750)

Mr Elam suffered fatal injuries, while pilion passenger Ms Edgington was left with injuries so severe that she is now registered disabled.

Ms Edgington suffered fractures to her right femur and leg, foot and ankle, as well as broken ribs and a fractured eye socket.

Mr Singh said that after leaving the crash site, Pryce later stopped and made six other phone calls before ringing for an ambulance.

It also emerged during the hearing that at the time of the crash, Pryce was on police bail after being arrested for an earlier offence of drug driving whilst over the limit.

Mr Singh said: "Although the defendant called for an ambulance, it was only the seventh phone call he made after the collision.

"The defendant's mother states that he has been struggling with drug addiction for 20 years.

"On the day in question, Mr Pryce said that he wanted to drive over to see her but his mother him not to because he had no licence.

"Mr Pryce then texted her to say that he had run out of drugs and she suspected he had run out of money as well.

"When he arrived at his mother's house, he went to his room where, according to Mr Pryce, he said he couldn't deal with it and that he injected drugs."

After his arrest, Pryce told police that he had injected himself with a mix of cocaine and heroin substitute drug Subutex in order, he said, to calm himself down.

The court was also told that Pryce, who was driving unsupervised, only held a provisional licence and was not insured to drive the Ford Galaxy.

Mr Singh said: "Moments before starting the overtaking move, Mr Pryce had been driving so close to the vehicle in front of him that other drivers thought he was being towed.

"The defendant then moved out and straight into the path of Mr Elam's motorcycle.

"As a result of the collision, both Mr Elam and Ms Edgington were thrown from the motorcycle.

"Passing motorists stopped to help and Mr Elam asked them about his partner before he was taken to hospital.

"But he died during the journey."

Ms Edgington, who is still on crutches and needs assistance with everyday living tasks, was taken to hospital where she was treated for a number of weeks.

In a statement read out to the court, Ms Edgington said: "I am completely devastated about losing Martin.

"I am heartbroken and I felt, and still feel, such pain knowing that Martin will not be beside me again.

"I am truly heartbroken that I no longer have Martin with me and it is the deepest sadness that I have ever felt."

Court news (3187105)
Court news (3187105)

Ms Edgington also recalled how Mr Elam has shouted out over the radio link they had set up so that they could talk to each other during motorcycle journeys.

She said: "I could hear Martin shouting 'No, No, No'.

"I looked over his helmet and to my horror I could see a large people carrier coming towards us.

"It kept coming in our lane and then there was a massive collision.

"I could feel my head being thrown back, then nothing.

"The next thing I remember is waking up on my back and I had unbelievable pain in my legs."

As well as the jail term, Pryce was also disqualified from driving for eight years and four months.

Judge Andrew Easteal, passing sentence, described Mr Elam as an exemplary driver and said no blame could be attached to him for what happened.

Court Register (3308226)
Court Register (3308226)

The Judge said: "The defendant had no driving licence and, at the time of the incident, he was on bail and subsequently convicted of driving with an excessive amount of controlled drugs in his bloodstream.

"It is quite clear that those events, his arrest and prosecution had no impact on his behaviour or his conduct when he drove."

Judge Easteal concluded that the overtaking manoeuvre carried out by Pryce meant a collision was unavoidable and inevitable.

He said: "After the collision, the defendant got out of his vehicle and had the opportunity to see the carnage his driving had resulted in.

"Very shortly afterwards, he left the scene as his priority was to get to a place where he could take controlled drugs."

Mark Watson, mitigating, said: "Mr Pryce did not set out to injure. let alone kill anyone on that day.

Lincoln Crown Court (3210246)
Lincoln Crown Court (3210246)

"He is clearly a man who has lost his way, having come from a good family but found himself at a young age addicted to Class A drugs.

"He hopes that while he is serving his sentence. the addiction that has gripped him for 20 years is conquered.

"That is his intention."

Mr Watson added that Pryce was remorseful in his admittance of the offences.


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