Daughter of Sussex man killed by drink-driver at Crawley Down speaks out for police campaign
The daughter of a man whose father was killed by a drink-driver has shared her tragic story with help from Sussex Police.
Police said that Nicola Bailey is pleading for motorists not to get behind the wheel of their vehicle if they have consumed alcohol or drugs.
They said Nicola’s family experienced ‘complete and utter devastation’ after Nicholas Bailey, 74, died in a collision at Turners Hill Road, Crawley Down, on June 25, 2020.
“By the time I got to him at the crash site he was gone,” Nicola said.
“The images from that evening will stay with me for ever.”
Sussex Police said Nicola is speaking out in support of their campaign to stop drink and drug drivers this Christmas.
A police spokesperson said: “Drink-driver Kevin Pratt had consumed several glasses of wine all afternoon on June 25 after attending a barbecue with friends.”
“He had his last drink just 20 minutes before driving home with a passenger in his Vauxhall Astra.”
“Witnesses said Pratt failed to see Mr Bailey who was clearly visible on his motorcycle,” police said, adding that Pratt turned into the path of Mr Bailey who had no time to react.
They said Mr Bailey suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.
“Now, Pratt, of Spring Plat, Crawley, has been jailed for two years and three months after he pleaded guilty to drink-driving and causing death by careless driving,” said the police spokesperson.
“At Hove Crown Court on December 21 he was also disqualified from driving for four years and six months,” they said.
“The court heard how Pratt had given a positive breath test of 43 microgrammes (ucg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath,” said police.
“The legal limit is 35ucg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.”
After the sentence Nicola said the incident was a stark reminder of the possible consequences of drink or drug driving.
“Mine and my family’s lives have been smashed apart,” she said.
“The pain and grief of losing my Dad in such an horrific manner is both unbearable and indescribable.”
“If I had one message for someone thinking of driving who has consumed alcohol or drugs, it would be stop – you have a choice,” she added, saying that drink and drug drivers put everyone’s lives at risk.
Nicola asked: “Could you live with yourself knowing that you had killed someone and shattered so many other lives alongside?”
Nicola said she misses her father every day, and said she was lucky to have many wonderful memories to hold onto and grateful that Nick Bailey was her Dad.
“He was utterly unique, a huge character and I was truly blessed, but he should still be here, by my side,” she said.
“The wonderful man riding home on his motorbike, back to his daughter and granddaughter, never got home,” she added.
“I never had the chance to say goodbye and tell him that I loved him so very, very much.”
Sussex Police said their campaign against drink and drug driving runs from December 1 to January 1 and that officers have already made 152 arrests.
They said one driver was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving twice in four days.
Another suspected drink-driver collided with three parked vehicles, while one suspected drug-driver ignored and drove through a police road closure, they said.
Police revealed that of the arrests made so far, 68 were on suspicion of drink-driving, 79 were on suspicion of drug-driving, and five were on suspicion of both drink and drug-driving.
Sussex Police said the consequences of drink or drug-driving can include: killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else, a minimum 12-month ban, an unlimited fine, a prison sentence, a criminal record, an increase in your car insurance costs, and trouble travelling to countries like the USA.
Police urged anyone who knows someone is drink or drug driving to call 999 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
Alternatively, people can make a report at crimestoppers-uk.org.
The campaign is supported by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.