‘Selfish, reckless’ cocaine-fuelled driver killed dad in terrifying overtaking manoeuvre

A father of three killed by a driver under the influence of cocaine in a crash in Nottinghamshire [1]has been described as a “truly unique soul” after his killer was jailed for ten years. Lucian Abbey, aged 51 and from the Leeds area, was travelling along Bawtry Road in Bircotes at around 9.45am on March 9, 2023.

Coming the other way was the “selfish, reckless and dangerous” 49-year-old Alan Harwood, who under the influence of cocaine chose to overtake a lorry while approaching an uphill bend. Around 30 seconds later, Harwood sped up behind another vehicle and pulled out to overtake, just as Mr Abbey was coming in the other direction.

He was pronounced dead at the roadside shortly after the head-on collision. In a statement read out at Harwood’s sentencing, Mr Abbey’s partner, Rachel Cleary, said: “Lucian was a funny, kind, sweet, sometimes obtrusive but lovely man, who had a knack of making you feel special. He was truly a unique soul.

Do you feel safe in Nottingham city centre? Let us know here[2]

“My heart breaks daily at the thought his children will never get another birthday or Christmas[3] with him, and he will never get to do all the firsts a dad should do.” Graham Pace, Lucian’s cousin, added: “The impact of one man’s selfish, reckless and dangerous actions within minutes have killed my cousin and ruined the lives of my family and Lucian’s friends and partner.

“We cannot comprehend why or how he could feel it necessary to drive under the influence of drugs and do what he did. This action has caused the death of my cousin and to us is unforgivable.”

Police mugshot Alan Harwood caused the death of Lucian Abbey by driving under the influence of cocainePolice mugshot Alan Harwood caused the death of Lucian Abbey by driving under the influence of cocaine

Alan Harwood caused the death of Lucian Abbey by driving under the influence of cocaine -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

Harwood, of no fixed address, will now spend 10 years in prison after his sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court[4] on Monday (May 20) on charges of causing death by dangerous driving and drug driving. After his prison stint, Harwood will be banned from driving for a further five years and will then have to do a complete retest.

Sentencing Harwood, Judge Michael Auty KC, said: “If it was in my gift to restore his life, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I can’t. Nothing I can do will heal the misery and suffering of the family who mourn the passing of their loved one.

“It must have been obvious to you that you were completing a dangerous manoeuvre. The real tragedy of this case is that it was completely unnecessary.

“You cost three innocent children their father. You took one life but irreparably damaged more, due to your selfishness and irresponsibility.”


  1. ^ Nottinghamshire (www.nottinghampost.com)
  2. ^ Let us know here (xd.wayin.com)
  3. ^ Christmas (www.nottinghampost.com)
  4. ^ sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court (www.nottinghampost.com)