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‘Reckless’ drink driver sentenced to five years after passenger dies in Bolton fireball collision

By John McDougall

A drink driver who caused the death of a passenger in his car while driving in Bolton was today sentenced to five years in jail.

Carl Yates, 25, from Darwen in Lancashire, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment.

He was disqualified from driving for six years, and ordered to take an extended driving test before he can get his license back.

Sergeant Jeff Hollick of the Road Policing Unit at Leigh said: “Yates was reckless in several ways on the evening of the collision.

“That he didn’t kill anyone else in the collision is down to two reasons; the actions of several members of the public who dragged Yates, his rear seat passenger, and Jason from the burning Corsa, and the fact that the family in the Toyota were correctly seated and belted.”

The sentence was imposed by Bolton Crown Court for the death of 32-year-old Jason Kenealy, who died of multiple injuries sustained last June.

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR he was travelling in with Yates collided with a Toyota Corolla Verso at a junction, hit a stone wall and burst into flames.

Both men were not wearing seatbelts when the collision that proved to be fatal for Kenealy (left) – who later succumbed to his injuries at Royal Bolton Hospital – took place.

Inspector John Armfield of Greater Manchester Police’s Roads and Policing Unit said: “Police officers and colleagues in the fire and rescue and ambulance service face the carnage and devastation caused by selfish drink drivers far too often.”   

Area Manager Dave Keelan, of Greater Manchester’s Fire and Rescue Service Head of Prevention, said: “Our crews now rescue more people from collisions than they do from fires – so we see the devastation a smash can cause on a daily basis.

“There are many reasons to celebrate this summer but none of them is worth mixing drinking with driving because the consequences can be horrific.”      

Karen Delaney from Drivesafe, Greater Manchester’s Casualty Reduction Partnership added: “It is extremely dangerous to try and calculate alcohol levels.

“That’s why our message is ‘None For The Road’ so if you’re planning on watching the match and having few drinks, don’ t take the risk of getting behind the wheel, Greater Manchester has a fantastic public transport network and if all else fails just call a cab.”

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