A DRINK driver whose actions caused the death of a family’s pet dog and left a passenger suffering spinal injuries has been jailed for a year.

Durham Crown Court heard the crash took place on the southbound carriageway of the A1(M), on the stretch between Bowburn and Bradbury, junctions 61 and 60, at about 8pm on September 15, last year

Katie Webster, 32, was behind the wheel of her Peugeot 208 car that evening and was said to have swerved across lanes of the motorway, before hitting another vehicle, a Peugeot FR 3008, causing it to flip, roll and land on its roof.

That car was said to contain a family returning home from a day out in Northumberland.

The Northern Echo: Katie Webster jailed for drink driving on A1(M) causing collision with family vehicle Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARYKatie Webster jailed for drink driving on A1(M) causing collision with family vehicle Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARY

Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said the force of the collision led to the death of the family’s pet dog, while the mother of a child travelling in the vehicle fractured her spine.

The child and the father escaped serious injuries, but all three were said to have been left, “black and blue”.

When Durham Police’s roads policing unit arrived on scene, Webster attempted to make off, crossing four live lanes of traffic before she was detained by an officer.

She was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital, herself, but became aggressive, was abusive to officers, and in a state of volatility as attempts were made to take a blood sample, she kicked an officer on the thigh.

The court heard her mobile phone was seized and it revealed three Snapchat videos taken while she was driving, with the speed on the speedometer shown to be between 99pmh and 107mph.

Webster stated she had drunk two glasses of wine but could not recall the collision.

The defendant, of Dixon Way, Coundon, was said to have a previous conviction for drink driving, plus driving without insurance.

She admitted dangerous driving, driving without an insurance or licence, plus assaulting an emergency worker.

Read more: Spennymoor man who drove through flyover onto A1(M) jailed

Vic Laffey, in mitigation, said Webster “has her own demons” and had personal problems, having undergone a domestic altercation on the day of the offence, but added that she had the “good sense” to plead guilty.

He said that at the time she had problems with drink but is now “finished with alcohol” and retains family support.

Imposing the 12-month sentence and banning her from driving for three years and six months, Judge James Adkin said she was, “very drunk and out of control”.

Speaking after the case, Inspector Kev Salter, of the roads policing unit, said: “Webster showed a complete disregard for the safety of others when she chose to get behind the wheel drunk.

“Sadly, as a result of her selfish actions, one woman was left with not only serious injuries but also the grief of losing her beloved dog too.

“Driving whilst under the influence is one of the main reasons people are killed on County Durham and Darlington’s roads every year and is completely avoidable.

“If you choose to drink and drive be warned, we will never stop pursuing drivers like you to prevent further tragic incidents like this one.”

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