A van driver who killed a mother-of-two after drinking six pints of beer and taking cocaine asked police if his victim was alive.
Ashley Dean, 40, killed her friend Lisa Birtwistle, 32, in a crash on Blackpool Road in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, on March 23 last year.
Dean had drunk six pints of Peroni and snorted a line of cocaine “to sober him up” before getting behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Vivaro van, Preston Crown Court heard.
Footage released by Lancashire Police shows him telling officers: “At least tell me if she’s alive.” in the back of the van after being asked to blow into a breathalyzer after the accident.
In the clip, police tell Dean they cannot confirm this information and later arrest him on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Ashley Dean asked officers if mother-of-two he killed in crash was still alive while being breathalyzed in the back of a police van
Lisa Birtwistle, 32, was killed by her friend Dean in a fatal crash in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, on March 23 last year.
Ms Birtwistle was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital the same night.
As she lay dying on the road, Dean, a painter and decorator, called his wife and threw three bags of cocaine into an alley near the collision.
A passing motorist stopped to help Ms Birtwistle, calling 999 and administering CPR until paramedics arrived.
Dean, of Argyll Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, was jailed for nine years and five months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by driving without insurance.
Sentencing, Judge Ian Unsworth said: “You did nothing to help him. »
Peter Barr, prosecuting, told the court that on March 23 Dean parked at the Castle Gardens pub on Poulton Road shortly after 4pm. He had arranged for his wife to accompany him home, he said.
Ms Birtwistle was already at the pub with her friend Danielle Eastwood. The couple planned to stay until 7 p.m., but Ms Birtwistle called her parents and asked them to put her children to bed so they could stay out a little longer.
Witnesses said Dean was “drunk, drunk and dizzy.” As Ms Eastwood left the pub at 8pm, she warned Ms Birtwistle: “Don’t get in the van with him if he’s driving.” »
CCTV showed Dean leaving the pub at 8.40pm to collect three bags of cocaine. Ms Birtwistle left at 8.42pm to return home. But as she walked through the car park she met Dean returning to the pub and was persuaded to go back for another drink.
At 10.15pm, Dean left the pub and got into his van with Ms Birtwistle in the passenger seat. While driving on Blackpool Road – at speeds of 45mph to 50mph in a 30mph zone – he lost control of the van on a left-hand bend.
Dean (pictured) had consumed six pints of Peroni beer and a line of cocaine before getting behind the wheel
The van spun 180 degrees and collided with a stone pole, resting on two wheels with the other wheels in the air. Lisa was thrown from the vehicle and onto the road where she was fatally injured.
Judge Unsworth told Dean: “At this stage your thoughts were not for Lisa but for your own preservation. You unbuckled your seat belt and got out of the vehicle. If you watched it, it must have been momentary.
“The occupant of a passing vehicle stopped. He parked his vehicle in the middle of the road and turned on his hazard lights. He saw Lisa on the ground and went to try to help her.
“He saw you standing in the back of the van. When he asked you what happened, you said you didn’t know. You dishonestly told one of his friends that you had “a few drinks.”
“He stayed with Lisa. He checked his pulse and followed the emergency operator’s instructions. He stayed with her and did everything he could to help her. You did nothing to help him.
Andrew Scott, mitigating, said Dean had no previous convictions and was highly regarded as a husband, father, colleague and friend. He said Dean immediately admitted he was responsible for the tragic incident and told a probation officer: “There’s no one to blame but me.”
He said the testimony given to the judge spoke of Dean in a different light and “separated the man from the deed.” Mr Scott said: “He happily accepts whatever punishment he will receive.”
Ms Birtwistle’s parents, Elaine and Jim Birtwistle, read emotional victim impact statements to the court, recounting the agony they endured following the death of their beloved daughter.
Ms Birtwistle’s parents, Elaine and Jim, told Preston Crown Court of their agony and the impact her death would have on her two children.
They spoke about the impact on Lisa’s children who will now have to face a future without their mother.
Judge Unsworth said: “You knew you were driving excessively and you knew it was you, and you alone, who caused Lisa’s death as a result of dangerous driving.”
He sentenced Dean to nine years and four months, with nine months to run concurrently, for driving without insurance.
He also banned him from driving for 14 years and five months and ordered him to take a new test if he wishes to drive again.