Drunken Belgian trucker gets six years
A lorry driver from the East Flemish municipality of Lochristi has been sentenced to six years in prison by a court in the English town of Dorchester.
Forty-five year old Didier Gillis failed to stop after the truck he was driving collided with a tractor. The accident cost fifty-six year old Dennis Watts his life. Mr Watts, a local farmer, was catapulted out of the tractor and sustained fatal injuries to his head.
A passing medical student tried to revive the farmer, but to no avail.
Gillis used the confusion in the aftermath of the accident to make his escape, hitching a ride with another lorry driver.
However, the driver became suspicious and made Gillis get out and walk.
Dorset police arrested him at Dorchester Railway Station, where he had just bought a one-way ticket to London.
The Fleming was found to have blood-alcohol levels three times above the legal limit.
“Looking for a can of Coke”
In his police statement, Gillis claimed that he hadn’t seen Watts’s tractor as he was looking for a can of Coke in his cab’s cooler compartment.
However, a police search of the Gillis’ vehicle turned up several empty beer cans, an empty bottle of port and a half empty bottle of another unspecified alcoholic beverage.
A road traffic accident inspectors' report also found that Gillis must have been travelling at around 96km/h on a road with a 60km/h speed limit.
“A lack of consideration for your victim”
In sentencing, the Judge at Dorchester Crown Court said that as a driver with twenty-five years experience, Gillis must have known that he was a danger to other road users.
The Judge also condemned Gillis for fleeing the scene of the accident.
The Fleming was sentenced to six years imprisonment and given a five-year driving ban.
Gillis has two previous convictions for drink-driving dating back to 1992 and 1996 respectively.