Drunk driver left schoolboys for dead

A DRUNK driver who left two Suffolk schoolboys fighting for their lives after he smashed his vehicle into them and then reversed on to their bodies has been jailed.

A DRUNK driver who left two Suffolk schoolboys fighting for their lives after he smashed his vehicle into them and then reversed on to their bodies has been jailed.

Father-of-three Daniel Vickers was driving at 100mph - and twice over the drink drive limit - when he careered into Andrew Grove and Louis Haley as they were walking home with a group of friends in the early hours of the morning.

Andrew, 15, of Exning, near Newmarket, and 16-year-old Louis, of Herringswell, near Bury St Edmunds, suffered devastating injuries in the crash on the A142 at Fordham last July.

Andrew was in a coma by the time he reached hospital, and had swelling and bleeding to the brain as well as multiple broken bones.

Louis's skull was fractured, his jaw broken, and he had fractured vertebrae and a host of other injuries.

Speaking after Vickers was sentenced, Andrew's mother, Julie, said: “How anyone could just leave people for dead, I will never know. The thing is that Andrew is still here.

Most Read

“There was no rhyme or reason for what he (Vickers) did. We thank our lucky stars the others were with them, otherwise who knows what would have happened.”

Cambridge Crown Court heard how Vickers, who worked as a driver, was speeding at up to 100mph and was seen swerving the Jeep from one side of the road to the other as he approached a roundabout.

Andrew, Louis and two other schoolfriends - Chris Warboys and Craig Armstrong, both 15 - were walking home from a party at Isleham, near Newmarket, and were sitting on the grassy area of the roundabout, taking a rest before the next leg of their journey.

The Jeep mounted the sloping brick sides of the roundabout and became airborne, striking Andrew and Louis before hurtling into a hedge.

Vickers, who also had no licence or insurance, then reversed over Andrew before abandoning the vehicle at the Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket, setting it ablaze in a bid to cover his tracks.

Vickers, who had a passenger in the Jeep but refused to let him out to tend to the injured youngsters, then went to his boss, who owned the vehicle, to confess.

He then handed himself in to police and a breath test five hours after the smash revealed he was still over the alcohol limit.

Vickers, who lived in the Newmarket area but was lately of no fixed address, admitted dangerous driving, arson, failing to stop after an accident, being without insurance or a licence and drink-driving. He also pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud relating to an earlier incident when he posed as his employer to buy petrol.

Jailing him, Judge Jonathan Haworth told him he had driven like a maniac and his subsequent actions were callous. He was handed an indeterminate prison term - with a minimum tariff of 21 months - for the public's protection when he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court.

Vickers was also banned from driving for six years and must take an extended re-test before being eligible to take to the road again.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter