“Our festive celebrations are forever tainted by tragic memories”

The father of an eighteen year old woman from Measham, who was killed by a drink driver, is calling on the people of Leicestershire to ‘get tough’ on drink drivers.

On 5 December 2013, 18-year-old Olivia Flanagan from Measham was travelling home from work when her car was hit by another car on Stephenson Way in Coalville. Luke Sykes, 31, from Coleorton, hit two other cars before spinning into the path of Olivia’s vehicle. Tests showed he was over the drink drive limit. Sykes had only just finished served a previous driving ban. He received an eight year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving in April 2014 and will be banned from driving for ten years upon his release from prison.

That December evening, Olivia’s father, Martin, received the call which was to change his life forever. “It’s the news that every parent dreads hearing,” he said. “She had been driving for six months and we always told her to drive carefully whenever she went anywhere and she always did.”

On losing Olivia, Martin Flanagan said: “Olivia was a stunningly beautiful young woman with a wonderful dry and funny sense of humour which people immediately warmed to; she was a truly wonderful, daughter, sister, aunty and friend.”

Martin is telling his story to supports the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership’s winter campaign against drink drug driving which is running throughout December 2016 in conjunction with local police forces.

Chief Inspector Mark Garthwaite, who is heading up the campaign across the East Midlands, said: “As Martin Flanagan will testify: drink driving devastates lives. Sadly, what happened to Martin’s daughter Olivia is all too common, each year alcohol is a contributory factor in the deaths of 240 people on the UK’s roads.

“There’s more of a temptation to drink around Christmas time. Our message is: ‘If you are going to drive, then don’t drink at all’.”

“Drivers should be aware that we patrol 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week to challenge drink drivers and bring them before the courts.”

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership is requesting that people keep their eyes and ears open this Christmas. If you see someone who appears to be drunk leave a public house or club and then enter a vehicle to drive away, make a note of the registration plate and the direction of travel and call your local police on 101 or make a make a free and anonymous call to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111*

For arrest updates during the campaign follow us on Twitter @RoadSafeLeics or @leicspolice

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

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