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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Jail term for man who killed friend in Runcorn collision

A drug driver who killed his friend during a collision in Runcorn has been sentenced to nine years in jail.

Haydn Patterson (30) of Barons Close, Widnes, appeared at Chester Crown Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while over the drug drive limit and admitted possession of class A drugs (cocaine) and possession of class B drugs (cannabis).

During the hearing the court was told that in October 2022, Patterson had been out with his friend, Kevin Viles (41) at a pub in Widnes. The pair spent around two hours there, before leaving at around 5.40pm, in Patterson’s Mini Cooper.

They drove towards Runcorn, travelling over the Mersey Gateway bridge and onto the Central Expressway. Patterson then turned onto the Southern Expressway, where he lost control of the vehicle, initially driving towards the central reservation, before steering away, resulting in the Mini Cooper rotating across the carriageway and onto a grass verge where it rolled onto the roof and up the embankment.

Serious injuries

Following the crash, Patterson (pictured) climbed out of the car and spoke to a witness at the scene, before running off on foot, leaving Kevin in the car with serious injuries.

Emergency services were called to the scene and Kevin was subsequently freed from the car before being taken to Aintree University Hospital.

Patterson was subsequently located by officers at his home in Widnes, where he was seen throwing wraps of cocaine and cannabis out of the window, before again attempting to make off on foot, but was quickly located and arrested.

Following his arrest, Patterson was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure where officers were able to conduct a breath test and take a blood sample.

The results showed that he was under the influence of both cocaine and cannabis at the time of the collision – with both amounts exceeding the specified limits whilst driving.

During questioning, Patterson admitted that he was the driver of the car, but he attempted to claim that the collision had been caused by another vehicle which had driven into his lane – which was disproven by both people who witnessed the incident and the forensic collision investigator.

Despite his denial, he was later charged in relation to the incident.

While in hospital, doctors found that Kevin had sustained non-survivable brain and chest injuries due to the collision, and he passed away with his family present on Friday 18 November 2022.

Police constable Liz Thompson said: “Firstly, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Kevin’s family and friends. This has been a long and complex investigation and I hope that the conclusion reached today will provide them with some closure.

“Patterson described Kevin as being like a ‘father figure’, he said that they were close friends and had been socialising together on the day of the incident.

“Yet following the collision, he showed no thought for Kevin, instead all he was bothered about was protecting himself, by fleeing the scene and running home, leaving Kevin seriously injured inside the car.

“After returning home, he continued to show no remorse, instead he was too busy hiding evidence and throwing his drugs out of the window. It was only after his arrest that he finally started to show some regret for his actions.

“During our investigation, we spoke to several people who witnessed the collision and attempted to help Kevin and I would like to thank them for their assistance.

“As part of the investigation, our specialist Forensic Collision Investigator conducted a reconstruction of the collision and found had Patterson applied firm or emergency braking, either instead of or in conjunction with steering, it is likely the severity of injury could have been reduced or the collision prevented.

“Sadly, likely due to the drugs in his system, Patterson did not react in time, and as a result an innocent man lost his life.

“While nothing can be done to bring Kevin back, I hope that his death was not in vain, and that this case will act as a reminder to others about the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.”

“Big friendly giant”

Kevin’s wife, Emma said: “Kev was not only my husband, but my best friend, my soul mate and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it.

“He fought so very hard to heal and recover from his injuries, to be back with me and our four children, Nathan, Jessica, Amber and Kaylee and not forgetting his precious grandson Kairo.

“Sadly Kev lost the battle with myself and our daughter holding his hand all the way.”

“I will forever be grateful for the 33 days we got to spend with you in the hospital praying and hoping every day for a miracle. Life is never going to be the same for any of us without him, he was our big friendly giant, who would do absolutely anything for anyone.”

 

 

 

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