A woman who admitted causing a fatal road traffic collision near Blandford that claimed the life of her three-year-old daughter has been jailed for six years and four months.
Alanda Jane Pike, aged 34 and of Shaftesbury, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court today, Thursday 26 October 2017. She had admitted charges of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol and drugs at the same court on Thursday 5 October 2017.
At 7.40am on Thursday 24 August 2017 a two-vehicle road traffic collision occurred on the A354 at Thickthorn Cross involving a Vauxhall Astra being driven by Pike and a Ford Transit van.
Pike, who had her three-year-old daughter Louisa in rear of the car, pulled out of the junction straight into the path of the van.
Pike suffered a leg and head injury as a result of the collision and was flown by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital, along with her daughter Louisa who had sustained a serious head injury.
The driver of the van, a 44-year-old woman from Salisbury, was taken to Salisbury District Hospital for treatment to serious injuries to her hand and arm.
Very sadly Louisa passed away on Friday 25 August 2017.
A blood sample was taken from Pike when she was in hospital which she later gave consent to be analysed.
That analysis found that it contained at least 174 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.
Given that the sample was taken nearly five hours after the collision, a subsequent back calculation indicated that her blood alcohol level at the time of the incident was actually around 284 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – more than three and a half times the legal limit.
Analysis of the blood sample also revealed the presence of benzoylecgonine, a breakdown product of cocaine. A toxicology report stated that the level of the substance was 181 micrograms per litre of blood, more than three and a half times the specified legal limit of 50 micrograms per litre.
Pike was banned from driving for a period of nine years and two months.
Judge Peter Johnson told the defendant: ‘Your actions caused the loss of a bright, bubbly child who was adored by many.’
Police Sergeant Phil Lee, of the traffic unit, said: ‘Yet again we are here dealing with the tragic aftermath of a wholly unnecessary and completely avoidable event that has had devastating effects on all those involved.
‘While no sentence will ever compensate for their loss, I can only hope the conclusion of the legal proceedings will at least bring some comfort to Louisa’s family at this difficult time.
‘I wish to personally thank those witnesses who came forward to assist us with this complex enquiry. I would also like to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency service personnel who attended that day and dealt with the horrific circumstances as well as the family liaison officers, the extensive police investigation team and support staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Alanda faces the consequences of her actions.
‘My message is clear that if you do drive after taking drink or drugs, you will be committing criminal offences and you will face the appropriate actions.
‘We remain wholly committed to ensuring the safety of every road user in Dorset.’