"yet you carried on driving whilst drinking."
Sukhdeep Gill, aged 36, of Blackburn, was jailed for five years for causing a crash which killed his friend. The drink driver fell asleep at the wheel on the M6.
Chester Crown Court heard that he had been making deliveries in the Midlands and was driving on the M6 near Knutsford, Cheshire in the early hours of August 21, 2018.
His friend Junaid Akhtar, aged 37, was sat in the passenger seat of the Mercedes Sprinter van.
Shortly after passing Junction 19 at Knutsford, Gill fell asleep and drifted onto the hard shoulder, where he collided with a stationary van.
That vehicle was parked on the hard shoulder with its hazard lights on.
It was estimated that Gill was travelling at 70 mph when the crash occurred.
Mr Akhtar suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital. The driver of the other van suffered whiplash and a broken collarbone.
Police arrived at the scene and noticed that Gill smelled strongly of alcohol. They found two small whisky bottles and an empty can of lager in the footwell.
A breath test showed that he was more than twice the legal limit. Gill was arrested at the scene.
Despite the best efforts of all those involved, Mr Akhtar died on August 28.
Gill pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and while over the prescribed alcohol limit.
On June 16, 2020, Judge Steven Everett told the drink driver:
“This was not just drinking and driving, this was drinking whilst driving.
“You were tired and struggling to stay awake and yet you carried on driving whilst drinking.
“All of this was your fault, nobody else’s.”
Gill was sentenced to five years in prison.
PC Liz Thompson said: “This was a tragic but entirely preventable collision caused by Gill’s poor driving and his decision to drive while under the influence.
“Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right, and it comes with great responsibility to act within the rules laid down when you pass your test.
“When you deliberately ignore those rules, you put yourself and other people at great risk, as shown in the case of this terrible collision.
“Our thoughts remain with the family of the victim, who have been left devastated by this tragic incident.”
Gill was also banned from driving for six years upon his release from prison and will be required to undertake extended retests.
Gill was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He denied this offence but admitted the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, which was accepted by the court.