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Drunk driver who killed horses in crash banned from driving

Drunk driver who killed horses in crash banned from driving

Justin Burns

Drunk driver who killed horses in crash banned from driving
Hayley Gibbs with her best friend Rose

A drunk driver who ploughed into two horses and drove for 50 yards with one on his roof should have received a tougher sentence according to one of the riders he seriously injured.

Hayley Gibbs was riding with daughter Lily, 22, and friend Ian Smeeth, when an Audi A4 smashed into them in Hatchet Lane, Winkfield, on December 8.

Christian Myers, 41, of Woodside Road, Winkfield, was sentenced at Slough Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Magistrates disqualified Myers from driving for 16 months, fined him £1,160 and ordered him to pay costs of £172 after he admitted drink driving and careless driving.

Hayley said: "I think he should have been banned for longer and they [the courts] should be stronger with drink drivers, especially if you cause injury.

"We could have been killed and horses were killed.

"Justice has not been done."

The 46-year-old's beloved horse Rose, seven, and her daughter's horse Tuppence, 13, had to be put down at the scene and Ian's horse George, eight, has undergone extensive rehabilitation.

Recounting the horrific incident, the mother-of-two said none of them heard the car approaching before it crashed through the back of them.

She said: "All I remember was falling with Rose underneath me and trying to get my feet off the stirrups and then lying on the floor out of it.

"I was riding at the back and he ploughed through me and my horse, then hit Lily and her horse in front of me.

"Her horse was on the roof for 50 yards until it stopped."

The Thames Valley Riding Club member said she is 'lucky to be alive'.

"Everyday I am glad to be here, my horse saved my life," she said.

The Warfield resident has been in and out of hospital since the crash.

She said: "My wrist was crushed and I have had to have plates and pins inserted, and I had fractures to my face, nose and jaw.

"It still feels like I have had a stroke and my face is all numb."

Her daughter suffered extensive bruising and Ian injured his back.

Hayley said she will never ride a horse again, while Lily will not ride on the road again because it is 'too dangerous'.

The prop co-ordinator at Shepperton Studios said it has had an ongoing impact on family life, describing it as a 'nightmare'.

She said: "We are seeing a psychiatrist to get through it as we wake up having nightmares and get upset.

"It was so sad. They were beautiful horses."

Chief Inspector Colin Clark, from the Thames Valley Police roads policing team, said it was a 'horrific and traumatic incident' for the horse riders.

He said: "The collision occurred due to the careless actions of a driver who was drunk. He is totally responsible for the collision and irresponsible for driving while drunk."

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