Drink driver killed his friend and injured Sheffield man after ‘dozing off’ in horror smash

A drink driver has been jailed for five years for killing his friend in a collision in which he also crashed into a Sheffield man.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:43 am

Police found whisky bottles in the cab of the van driven by Sukhdeep Gill, aged 36, who ‘dozed off’ after drinking alcohol while behind the wheel, Chester Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

His Mercedes Sprinter drifted across white lines while doing 70mph and ploughed into another stationary van, driven by a Sheffield man, which had stopped on the hard shoulder of the M6 motorway in Cheshire.

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Drink driver Sukhdeep Gill has been jailed

Gill's friend, Junaid Akhtar, 37, who was in the passenger seat of his van, suffered serious injuries in the smash.

The father-of-three, from Blackburn, died in hospital seven days later.

The Sheffield man hit by Gill’s van suffered whiplash and a broken collarbone.

Police officers called to the scene noticed that Gill smelled strongly of alcohol and found two small whisky bottles and an empty can of lager in the footwell of his van.

A breath test showed a reading of 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - more than twice the legal limit.

Gill, of Beardwood Brow, Blackburn, had been working as a delivery driver when he crashed on the evening of August 21 2018.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of excess alcohol.

Jailing him, Judge Steven Everett said: “This was not just drinking and driving, this was drinking whilst driving.

“You were tired and struggling to stay awake and yet you carried on driving whilst drinking.

“All of this was your fault, nobody else's.”

Gill was also banned from driving for six years.

Lisa Judge, mitigating, told the court that Gill had been given the drinks by passenger Mr Akhtar and was not aware of the level of alcoholsupplied to him.

Outside court, 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.”