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Sarah Smith: Drunk Mother Dies Smashing Car Into Tree After Celebrating Passing Paramedic Exams

A 32-year-old mother and army veteran was killed when she crashed her car drunk into a tree after celebrating passing her exams to become a paramedic.

Sarah Smith was almost three times over the legal drink drive limit when she crashed.
Sarah Smith was almost three times over the legal drink drive limit when she crashed.

Sarah Smith was "significantly intoxicated" when she made the decision to drive her Audi A1 on the night of October 14, 2022.

As the 32-year-old drove around the right-hand bend in West Paddock, Leyland, driving towards Tesco, she lost control of the vehicle and drove across a grassed area before smashing into a tree.

Ms Smith was cut from the vehicle by firefighters and rushed by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital.

Surgeons carried out an operation to attempt to repair the severe damage done to her liver, but despite their best efforts, she was pronounced dead the next day.

An inquest at Preston Coroner's Court held yesterday revealed that following an examination of the vehicle, no defects were found and Ms Smith had been wearing her seatbelt at the time of impact.

Marks on the grassed area and the road indicated that she had not attempted to brake after losing control of the vehicle.

PC Williams said: "The vehicle had left the road to its offside, hit the kerb, travelled across the grass then across the junction with Jubilee Court before colliding with a tree.

"There weren't any witnesses but there was some CCTV from a property which showed the latter stage of the collision.

"The vehicle had just negotiated a right-hand bend. It just appeared that the driver had continued to turn right and then left the road. There was no attempt to return back to the carriageway and no evidence the vehicle was braking.

"If a vehicle is braking when it goes onto the grass, which was very soggy at the time, the wheels tend to lock before the ABS releases and you get drag marks that pull the grass up but there was no evidence that was the case. There was nothing suggesting anything other than driver error."

PC Williams revealed that a toxicology test showed that Ms Smith, a mother to two boys, was "significantly intoxicated" at the time of the crash. Her blood alcohol reading was 228mcg, the legal limit for driving is 80mcg - making her almost three times over the legal limit.

Assistant Coroner Kate Bisset said: "She had been celebrating passing her paramedic examinations prior to getting into her vehicle on the night in question."

A post mortem CT scan showed that Ms Smith's liver was "shattered and in multiple parts". The cause of death was said to be "traumatic liver injury".

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