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Tommy Whitmore: Drink-driver jailed after killing three people in wrong-way crash | UK News

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A “grossly intoxicated” driver has been jailed for eight years and four months for killing three people while driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway slip road.

Tommy Whitmore, 26, had smoked two cannabis spliffs in the 24 hours before his pick-up truck crashed head-on into an oncoming car and had more than twice the legal alcohol limit in his blood when he was arrested at the scene.

Marko Makula, 22, his fiancee Jana Kockova, 21, and her 19-year-old brother Tomas Kocko died when Whitmore’s Ford Ranger ploughed into their Renault Megane just before midnight on 13 April.

Marko and Jana, who had two children aged two and one, had been to pick up Tomas and were on their way home when the crash happened.

Their two children were being looked after at home.

Whitmore, from Stonegate in Cowbit, near Spalding in Lincolnshire, was travelling the wrong way on a slip road on the A1139 in Peterborough, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Marko Makula, 22 (R), his fiancee Jana Kockova, 21, and her 19-year-old brother Tomas Kocko were killed in the crash
Image:
Marko Makula, 22 (R), his fiancee Jana Kockova, 21, and her 19-year-old brother Tomas Kocko were killed in the crash

The market trader, who admitted causing the deaths of the three by dangerous driving, bowed his head and looked downwards as his sentence was read out. He later wept on his way to the cells.

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Judge David Farrell QC, sentencing, told him: “You made a deliberate decision to drive despite being grossly intoxicated”.

The judge said Whitmore was “unable to read the road and signs which would have been obvious to a sober driver”.

Mr Gair said Whitmore smoked a spliff when he woke up that day at 3.30am and another at 7pm after returning home from working at a market in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Whitmore then drank “two small bottles of beer” at a restaurant in Peterborough with his girlfriend, then Guinness and gin at an event at Farcet Village Hall with his girlfriend and her parents.

Whitmore, who ignored his girlfriend’s advice not to drive, was over the legal limit for cannabis and was also banned from driving for nine years and two months.

Mr Gair said Whitmore drove 470 metres down the slip road and the crash happened in lane two of the dual carriageway close to the 100-yard marker for the exit slip road he had just driven down.

He said there was no suggestion Marko, who was driving the Renault Megane, had done anything wrong, adding “there was no thinking time to react”.

Mr Gair told the court the defendant suffered minor injuries but “was able to get out of the vehicle. He stayed at the scene, he sat on the crash barrier.”

The family of the deceased were in court for Monday’s hearing, assisted by an interpreter. In a victim impact statement they said they felt “indescribable pain” and the “mental wounds may never heal”.

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