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Jail for dangerous driver

A Fleetwood man has been sentenced for killing a pedestrian out walking after celebrating his wife’s birthday.

Lee Gallagher, 24, of Chatsworth Avenue, Fleetwood was jailed for three and a half years today (Thursday, January 11th) at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing the death of Robert Michael Meekins, 63, by careless driving whilst unfit through alcohol.

 

At 8:30pm on Tuesday 24 January last year, Mr Meekins, known to his friends and family as Michael, was walking near to his home having just celebrated his wife’s birthday with relatives.

 

As they were holding hands heading south along Prince’s Way, Fleetwood, Gallagher – who was driving his black Volkswagen Golf – approached them from behind and mounted the kerb, hitting Mr Meekins. He was thrown in to the air, landing over 50 feet down the road.

 

He sadly died at the scene as a result of extensive head injuries.

 

Despite knowing that he had hit Mr Meekins, Lee Gallager carried on driving and fled the area.

 

Shortly afterwards, he called a friend and arranged for his car to be left at the man’s workshop so a new windscreen – which was damaged in the collision – could be fitted. He did not tell the friend why this was needed and what he had done.

 

Gallagher then returned home and after admitting to his mother and stepfather what he had done and on hearing that Mr Meekins had died as a result, he decided to hand himself in to the police the following day.

 

He moved his car to Lindel Road and then attended Fleetwood Police Station to make a full confession about his involvement, telling officers where they would find the vehicle.

 

Subsequent enquiries revealed that Gallagher had been drinking cider and port at a bar with friends prior to the collision.

 

Speaking after the sentencing, Senior Investigating Officer John Jennings-Wharton from the Road Policing Unit said: “Firstly my thoughts are with Michael’s family who have conducted themselves with such dignity despite suffering a brutal loss in such a graphic, sudden and tragic way.

 

“This was initially made worse by the fact that Lee Gallagher, the driver, fled the scene. He did, however, later decide to do the right thing and hand himself in but only the following morning after there no alcohol left in his system.

 

“Despite today’s result, there really are no winners in this situation as Michael’s family have lost their dearly loved husband and father whilst Lee Gallagher, a young man, is now going to prison; all of which could have been avoided had he not decided to drive after drinking.

 

“I hope this case serves as a warning to drivers of the potential dangers and consequences of drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel. They aren’t just risking their own lives but also the safety of other people which ultimately, could result in someone’s death. Lee Gallagher will have to live with his actions for the rest of his life.”

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