“Please don’t drink drive” urges victim’s sister

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THE devastated sister of a drink drive victim who was killed by a Wearside motorist is warning of the consequences of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

As part of the national Association of Chief Police Officers seasonal campaign, Vicky Dowdall has joined police and doctors to tell of the horrors and emotional turmoil of losing someone to a drink driver.

Vicky’s sister Jacqueline, 43, who was from Coxhoe in County Durham, was killed on the A1 in Durham on April 7 last year, after Craig Bourne hit her car at around 5.30am at over 100mph whilst driving at more than twice the legal alcohol limit.

Bourne, from Rushyrigg in Blackfell, Washington, had been driving from Darlington to his parents’ house when he collided with Jacqueline’s car as she travelled to work.

Jacqueline was treated by doctors at the University Hospital of North Durham following the collision, however, her injuries were too severe and she died.

Bourne was given a seven-year prison sentence for his actions.

Now, Vicky is backing a campaign by Durham Police to persuade people not to drink drive this festive season.

“I can’t explain in words how much this has devastated our family and all of Jackie’s friends,” said Vicky.

“It’s a pain I’ve never experienced before and a year and a half later it’s still there.

“Wherever I am in the world I get extremely upset and angry knowing my sister will never get to do all of the things she dreamt about and deserved because someone decided to get into a car and drive whilst drunk.

“Please, please don’t do it. It’s just not worth it.

“Get a taxi, get a bus, a train - anything but drink and drive.”

In 2013, there were seven fatal collisions involving a drunk driver in the Durham and Cleveland force areas and 18 people were seriously injured as a result of a collision involving a drunk driver.

Inspector Ed Turner, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “We want to show people that their actions have consequences, and those consequences can leave you, or someone that you know – a family member or a friend, or someone that you have never even met seriously or fatally injured.

“Ask yourself if you want that on your conscience before you get behind the wheel.”