News

Daughter of man killed in collision gives New Year drink drive message

31 Dec 2016 01:00 AM

Kelly and Gavin Bolam [View Full Size]

Tomorrow (New Year's Day) will be the first time 24-year-old Kelly Bolam has started a new year without her father Gavin, 56, who was killed after being hit by a silver Mercedes Benz C-class car on April 9.

The driver of that vehicle was Allan Denis Hale, 39, who was caught on CCTV ordering six bottles of wine at a pub in Wardley before getting behind the wheel and driving home.

Hale mowed down father-of-two Gavin just yards from the pub and left him lying in a pool of blood on the roadside as he fled the scene.

He then struck a series of other stationary vehicles before driving on the metal rims of his vehicle and abandoning his vehicle less than two miles from the scene of the accident.

Gavin, who worked as a printing sales director, was taken to hospital by paramedics but sadly passed away. Hale was arrested by police and jailed for six years after pleading guilty to death by dangerous driving at Newcastle Crown Court in October.

Kelly and Gavin Bolam old

Kelly and her 14-year-old sister Abby will have to live with the devastation caused by that collision for the rest of their lives.

Now pensions administrator Kelly has joined forces with Northumbria Police and urged revellers to plan their journey in advance this New Year's Eve - after celebrating her first Christmas without her dad. 

Kelly, from Hebburn, said: "One of my first memories of Christmas is spending Christmas Eve with my dad. We went for breakfast in Newcastle, to the Grainger Market to collect the turkey and then shopping for our Christmas outfits.

"I'm not sure when that started but it became one of my favourite traditions and that's how I've spent Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember - me, my little sister and our dad.

"This year, it was just the two of us - me and my sister, Abby. Dad wasn't there to take us for breakfast or shopping for our Christmas outfits. He won't ever be there for our dad and daughter day out again.

"My family and I had to spend our first Christmas without my lovely dad, all because one man chose not to arrange transport home after a night out and instead got behind the wheel of his car.

"We all deserve to enjoy the festivities this time of year but please do so responsibly. Please do not force another family to face life without a loved one. Please do not drink and drive this New Year."

Gaving Bolam

Throughout the month of December Northumbria Police have been running a proactive drink and drug driving campaign to clampdown on those who get behind the wheel under the influence.

Proactive patrols have been in place and officers have been armed with hi-tech equipment which has resulted in nearly 150 people being arrested or summonsed on suspicion of drink or drug driving.

Chief Inspector Dave Guthrie, head of Motor Patrols, has said the devastation caused to Kelly's family shows the consequences of "irresponsible and unnecessary" behaviour.

He added: "Kelly has been incredibly brave in coming forward to share the devastation that losing her father has caused to her entire family.

"She will never be able to spend Christmas and New Year with him again and she will look back at 2016 with sadness in her heart - all because of a mindless act of dangerous driving.

"This was one of the worst cases of driving I have seen in my career and Hale was caught on CCTV ordering six bottles of wine before getting behind the wheel that night.

"Others may choose to make the same decision this New Year but we would urge them to read this story and think twice - don't start 2017 by causing the collision that costs another innocent life."

If a member of the public suspects anyone of dangerous driving then they should contact the Op Dragoon team by ringing the 101 non-emergency number. Always dial 999 in an emergency.