Drunken mum who killed two of her children in 72mph M1 crash jailed

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3 min read
Mary McCann was jailed for 49 months at Aylesbury Crown Court (PA/Thames Valley Police)
Mary McCann was jailed for 49 months at Aylesbury Crown Court (PA/Thames Valley Police)

A drunken mum who killed two of her children in a 72mph lorry smash cried: "God, why didn't I put their seatbelts on", after the collision, a court heard.

Mary McCann, 35, was jailed for more than four years following the crash on the M1 near Milton Keynes between her Vauxhall Astra and a Scania HGV on 9 August last year.

Her two children, Lilly McCann, four, and Smaller Peter McCann, 10, were killed instantly.

Aylesbury Crown Court was told McCann was driving at 72mph in a 60 zone, with Lilly and Smaller not wearing their seatbelts.

McCann had consumed at least 98 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres in blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

McCann was in lane one, while the lorry was in lane two, the court was told.

Her car drifted into lane two and, in a bid to avoid the lorry, she crashed into it – sending her car spinning.

Mary McCann was sentenced over the deaths of two of her children in August (Thames Valley Police)
Mary McCann was sentenced over the deaths of two of her children in August (Thames Valley Police)

Lilly was thrown from the car and found on the roadside, while Smaller was flung around the backseat and found slumped in the footwell, the court heard.

A witness heard McCann shout: “God, why didn’t I put their seatbelts on?” in the smash’s immediate aftermath, prosecutor Stephen Shay said.

A third passenger, a two-year-old girl, was not badly hurt, while the lorry driver, Simon Denton, was left with whiplash.

McCann appeared in court for sentencing via video-link from HMP Bronzefield and wept throughout the hearing as she was jailed for 49 months.

McCann was charged soon after the crash after detectives discovered she had been drinking before getting behind the wheel.

However, the mother-of-four went on the run for nearly a week.

Prosecutors said she failed to contact her solicitors following a funeral for Lilly and Smaller.

McCann, of Bamford Avenue, Derby, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink.

General view of Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire.
Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire. (PA)

Laban Leake, defending, said: ““This is a heartbreaking case, to have to sentence a mother for killing two of her own children while drunk and driving as badly as you were.

“It is a disgrace that you drove whilst drunk with your two children in the back of the car.

“You will carry the costs of what you did for the rest of your life."

Lorry diver Simon Denton told the court in a victim impact statement that the horror smash had left him suffering from nightmares and flashbacks.

He added: “This has left me depressed, anxious and in constant fear.

“I cannot go out and when I do I am looking behind me. I am scared.

“When she absconded I thought ‘why can you not stand up and take responsibility for what you have done?’”

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