Man who killed father in head-on crash jailed

A driver who killed a father-of-three in a head-on crash has been jailed for 10 years.

Lucian Abbey, 51, from the Leeds area, died when his Ford Transit van was hit by an overtaking vehicle.

Alan Harwood, 49, was two-and-a-half times over the limit for cocaine when he caused the crash.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Harwood, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in January.

Sitting on Monday, the court heard Mr Abbey was driving on the A614 between Bawtry and Blyth, in Nottinghamshire, at about 09:45 GMT on 9 March 2023 when the crash happened.

Harwood was travelling in the opposite direction and had earlier been seen passing a HGV over double white lines.

The driver of the lorry said he was travelling at 54mph (87kmh) along the road, which had a 50mph (80kmh) limit for goods vehicles, including the offender’s van.

He said Harwood overtook him “a mile” over the speed limit in an “erratic” move before disappearing out of sight.

The van was then seen quickly catching up to a Peugeot car, which moved to one side in anticipation of an overtake.

The car’s driver said he saw the van pull out before hearing a loud bang.

Lucian Abbey

Lucian Abbey

Lucian Abbey, 51, died in the crash on 9 March 2023 [Nottinghamshire Police]

Mr Abbey suffered an extreme neck injury and was pronounced dead at the scene, the court heard.

Harwood was seriously injured and was taken to hospital after being cut from his van.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Abbey’s family said he was “funny, kind and sweet”.

“He had a knack of making you feel special,” the family said.

“He had a truly unique soul.”

Judge Michael Auty KC, told the defendant he killed Mr Abbey in a “completely unnecessary” manoeuvre.

“You cost three innocent children their father,” he said.

“You took one life, but you inexplicably damaged more.”

Harwood also pleaded guilty to driving while over the limit for a controlled drug and was given a three-month concurrent sentence. He was banned from driving for 10 years.

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