Drink-driver jailed over Father’s Day crash that killed man and his two children

Joshua James Flynn, 37, his son Coby-Jay Flynn, 15, and daughter Skylar Flynn, 12 (Cumbria Police/PA)
Joshua James Flynn, 37, his son Coby-Jay Flynn, 15, and daughter Skylar Flynn, 12 (Cumbria Police/PA) (PA Media)
17:35pm, Mon 19 Apr 2021
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A drink-driver who killed a man and his two children out on a Father’s Day walk has been jailed for 10 years and 10 months.

David Logan, 47, was slurring his speech and staggering on his feet when he was pulled from his Peugeot 206 left embedded in a tree moments after ploughing into Joshua Flynn, 37, his son Coby-Jay, 15, and daughter Skylar, 12, in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria.

All three, along with their beloved pet Troy, were killed at the scene, Preston Crown Court heard.

Logan, of Dalton admitted three counts of causing death by dangerous driving, one count of criminal damage relating to their Yorkshire Terrier pet and one count of driving with excess alcohol, on June 21 2020.

Logan said he suffered coughing fits causing him to black out, but the judge said this in itself meant he should never have got behind the wheel.

It was also the sixth time Logan had been convicted of drink-related driving offences, the court heard.

Passing sentence Mr Justice Hilliard said: “He’s proceeded as though the road traffic rules simply did not apply to him.

“In continuing to drive the defendant must have known he was putting the safety of others at serious risk.

“I have no doubt the defendant must have known he should not have been driving a car at all until his condition had been diagnosed and treated.”

Logan was also banned from driving for 16 years.

Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, told the court Logan lost control of his vehicle on Abbey Road, the main ‘A’ road through Dalton, which has a 40mph limit, at around 2.30pm in the afternoon as construction worker Mr Flynn and his children were enjoying a walk.

She added: “This caused him to mount the kerb, he went on to the pavement and collided with three people and the family dog, walking along the pavement.”

Logan was taken to hospital with a broken arm and his alcohol intake determined by doing a “back calculation” which gave a reading of 141 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The legal limit is 80 milligrammes.

Troy (Cumbria Police/PA) (PA Media)

There was no eyewitness to the crash but another motorist saw three people, “go into the air” before the Peugeot crashed into a tree.

At the scene Logan was described as, “not being interested in the welfare of anyone else” and “showing no remorse or emotion for what had just happened.”

Logan was described as smelling of alcohol, stumbling, staggering and slurring his speech but when asked if he had been drinking, replied: “F*** off.”

Darren Burn, a driver who helped at the scene, said in a witness statement: “I kept asking him, ‘Do you know what you have done?’

“The defendant did not even look over at the people he had hit.”

Logan claimed he had finished work at Tesco at 10am that morning and then drunk “two tinnies” of Carling lager, but this was inconsistent with his later alcohol reading.

He also told police he had been suffering coughing fits that caused him to black out and this had caused the crash.

But the court was told if he was coughing and losing consciousness, then he had a duty to act and should not have chosen to drive.

Police collision experts were unable to definitely determine if Logan had been travelling in excess of 40mph at the time of the crash.

Analysis of Logan’s phone also suggested he had had just two and a half hours sleep the previous night.

Spanning more than 20 years the defendant had a “catalogue of offending” relating to multiple convictions for drink driving, refusing a breath test and driving while disqualified, the most recent in 2018.

Police concluded the cause of the crash was “either one or a combination of” drink driving, lack of sleep and losing consciousness due to a coughing fit.

James Hayworth, mitigating, said the defendant, who served in the Army from 1989 to 1994, suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In a letter from Logan read to the court he said: “I can’t apologise enough for what happened.

“I’m sorry for hurting so many people.”

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