A BANNED driver who caused the death of a 79-year-old man after he drove on the wrong side of the road at “excessive speed” has been jailed for six years.
A court heard Steven Hawksworth caused the collision which killed Samuel Richardson only a month after he had already been caught drink-driving.
Hawksworth had been drinking again when he got behind the wheel and caused the fatal crash on Hemsworth Road, Hemsworth, on October 30 last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard Hawksworth had his son and a friend in his car at the time he crossed a double white line to overtake traffic.
The vehicle struck Mr Richardson’s Toyota Corolla head-on as he drove in the opposite lane with his wife Doris.
The couple, who had been married for 54 years, were on their way home from a shopping trip. Their vehicle left the road after the collision and hit trees.
Mr Richardson, from South Kirkby, died from multiple internal injuries.
Witnesses described how Hawksworth was driving at between 70mph and 100mph shortly before the collision.
The court heard Hawksworth’s son had also told his father to “stop showing off” moments before the crash.
Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said: “Each witness formed the view the speed was excessive.”
Mrs Richardson suffered broken ribs in the collision. Hawksworth’s passenger, Jonathan Burkes, also suffered “life-changing” injuries.
Hawksworth, of Queen Elizabeth Grove, Eastmoor, Wakefield, had been arrested for drink-driving weeks earlier, on September 17, after he had been found to be almost one-and-a-half times the limit while driving his Ford Focus.
He was subsequently given a 17-month ban by magistrates earlier this year.
Hawksworth pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Robin Freize, mitigating, said Hawksworth was also seriously injured in the collision, spending 28 days in hospital after suffering chest and pelvic injuries.
He added: “He does not seek to qualify in any way the offence. He understands that what he did was very, very serious.”
Jailing Hawksworth, Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “You had previously been drinking and you, at least, took the risk that your driving was impaired.
“You did that at a time when you were on bail for an offence of driving when grossly over the limit.
Referring the the crash, he said: “There was greatly excessive speed. You made a deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road and had a disregard for the danger it caused to others.”
After the incident, Mr Richardson’s family said in a statement: “Sam was a family man who was a well-liked and respected member of the community where he lived.
“He was a devoted husband to Doris and we are devastated by his death.
“He will be missed terribly by all who knew him.”