Horrifying moment 'blind as a bat' drunk driver stumbles to car before killing church volunteer in crash

10 February 2023, 21:38

A ‘dangerous and reckless’ disqualified driver has been convicted after colliding with a church volunteer who died from their injuries.
A ‘dangerous and reckless’ disqualified driver has been convicted after colliding with a church volunteer who died from their injuries. Picture: GMP

By Caitlin Powell

Horrifying footage has shown a "blind as a bat" drunk driver stumble to his car moments before colliding with a church volunteer.

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Ryan McElroy, 35, had been drinking all day before hitting another vehicle while driving his car at 60mph in a 30mph zone.

Footage played to the court showed Mr McElroy stumbling to his car and using the wall for support before he got into his Vauxhall Crossland.

At Manchester Crown Court on Thursday, the prosecution said McElroy had taken Diazepam as well as being three times over the drink-drive limit.

Philip Hall, prosecuting, told the court that at one point McElroy was pouring neat spirits into a glass.

His dad described him as being "blind as a bat" and "not in any fit state to be doing anything".

Read more: 'Hopefully I killed them': killer driver's shocking words after speeding through red light into 'cherished' teenage girl

CCTV shows Ryan McElroy stumbling around drunk before fatal crash

Officers had been called to Mount Road in Gorton, Manchester, around 11:30pm on 5 December 2022 after McElroy collided with a Vauxhall Insignia turning into the road.

The passenger of the other car, Louis Dube, 25, suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident and died on December 8.

Mr Hall told the court Mr Dube, who had been studying for a Master’s degree in HR and leadership in Christianity, had been asleep when the collision happened.

Nompi, Mr Dube’s mother, told the court: “Louis was not only my son, but he was also my best friend, my mentor and the spiritual giant of our house.

“There is no break, every day in my mind there is a repeat, a record player of the insistent troubling thoughts and images of my son lying in a hospital bed, unconscious.

“I would like to say to Ryan's family that I hope you too can help Ryan find a meaningful purpose for his life.”

Mr Dube’s friend, the driver of the Insignia, was seriously injured but recovered.

Read more: Man caught drink-driving on e-scooter handed 19-month ban

McElroy was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary where a blood sample showed that he had 276 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - the legal limit is 80 milligrams, the court heard.

Adrian Palmer, mitigating, said McElroy accepted there was no mitigation.

He continued: “If he could turn back the clock he would, but he can't do anything now.

"It's clear he accepts full responsibility, his remorse is genuine, his regret is genuine.”

Adrian Palmer, mitigating, said McElroy (pictured) accepts full responsibility, his remorse is genuine, his regret is genuine.”
Adrian Palmer, mitigating, said McElroy (pictured) accepts full responsibility, his remorse is genuine, his regret is genuine.”. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

During the sentencing Judge Patrick Field KC said this was a "most serious case of dangerous driving”.

“It was a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving.”

McElroy was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and driving while disqualified.

He was also disqualified from driving for a further 12 and a half years.

Ronald Neilson from Greater Manchester Police described McElroy’s actions that evening as “appalling and sickening”.

He said: “I truly hope that the sentencing of Ryan McElroy – a dangerous and reckless individual – brings your family and loved ones some form of closure.”

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