A serial drink driver has been jailed after he hit and killed a dad and his two children who were out on a Father’s Day walk.
Joshua James Flynn, 37, his son Coby-Jay Flynn, 15, and daughter Skylar Flynn, 12, all died following the collision in in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, last June.
David Logan, 48, has been jailed for ten years and ten months over the family’s deaths and was also disqualified from the roads for 16 years 5 months after admitting three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Joshua and his son and daughter were out walking the family’s Yorkshire terrier, Troy on June 21, 2020, when Logan’s car mounted the pavement.
He was slurring his speech and staggering on his feet when he was pulled from the Peugeot 206, Preston crown court heard on Monday.
The car was left embedded in a tree, moments after hitting the family, out on a Sunday afternoon stroll. A coughing fit contributed to the crash, but it was the sixth time Logan had been convicted of drink-related driving offences, spanning more than 20 years, the court heard.
Joshua’s wife Emma had to be told her family had been killed in a matter of seconds at their home in neighbouring Barrow.
In a heartbreaking victim impact statement, she said: “I will never hear my children or husband say ‘I love you’ ever again. My husband, my kids and Troy, my dog, were brutally ripped away.
“I would do anything to bring them back into my life. I feel so alone now. Everything is a constant battle and reminder that they are not here any more.
“It kills me to know I will never get to see my children grow up. I hold an uncontrollable amount of grief. I don’t even know how to cope without them.
“I’m living in constant pain and hurt. I don’t understand why it happened. It’s such a selfish and horrible thing to do. The moment he got behind the wheel of his car and killed my family was the minute my
life stopped. I can’t put into words the hurt and heartache.”
Passing sentence Mr Justice Hilliard said: “He’s proceeded as though the road traffic rules simply did not apply to him. In continuing to drive the defendant must have known he was putting the safety of others at serious risk.
“I have no doubt the defendant must have known he should not have been driving a car at all until his condition had been diagnosed and treated.”
Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, told the court Logan lost control of his vehicle on Abbey Road, the main ‘A’ road through Dalton, which has a 40mph limit, at around 2.30pm in the afternoon as construction worker Mr Flynn and his children were enjoying the walk.
She added: “This caused him to mount the kerb, he went on to the
pavement and collided with three people and the family dog, walking
along the pavement.”
There was no eyewitness to the crash but another motorist saw three
people “go into the air” before the Peugeot crashed into a tree.
At the scene Logan was described as, “not being interested in the welfare of anyone else” and “showing no remorse or emotion for what had just happened.”
Logan was described as smelling of alcohol, stumbling, staggering and slurring his speech but when asked if he had been drinking, replied: “F*** off.”
Darren Burn, a driver who helped at the scene, said in a witness
statement: “I kept asking him, ‘Do you know what you have done?’ “The
defendant did not even look over at the people he had hit.”
Logan claimed he had finished work at Tesco at 10am that morning and
then drunk “two tinnies” of Carling lager, but this was inconsistent with his later alcohol reading.
He also told police he had been suffering coughing fits that caused him to black out and this had caused the crash.
But the court was told if he was coughing and losing consciousness, then he had a duty to act and should not have chosen to drive.
Police collision experts were unable to definitely determine if Logan had been travelling in excess of 40mph at the time of the crash.
Analysis of Logan’s phone also suggested he had had just two and a half hours sleep the previous night.
Spanning more than 20 years the defendant had a “catalogue of offending” relating to multiple convictions for drink driving, refusing a breath test and driving while disqualified, the most recent in 2018.
Logan, a former soldier who lived in a flat in Dalton-in-Furness, had almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath on June 21 last year.
He admitted criminal damage in relation to the death of Troy the dog.
Officers conducted a roadside breath test on Logan which showed 63mg
of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
The legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.
Speaking after the case, Sgt Jack Stabler said “I hope that the sentencing will provide some comfort for the Flynn family as I know this tragic incident has changed their lives forever.
“I would like to thank them for the trust that they have placed in Cumbria Police and their patience throughout the last 10 months. This has been an incredibly difficult investigation for the family and officers involved and I would like to thank them all.
“I must also thank all emergency services who were the first responders to this collision and all the members of the public who assisted with first aid and a wealth of enquiries.”
He said the case was “a clear reminder to everyone who gets behind
the wheel” of the dangers of drink driving.
“Please do not risk driving after consuming any amount of alcohol,” he added.
“Drink driving is a serious offence and this case clearly demonstrates that
the consequences can be fatal.”