Mechanic jailed for killing man in customer’s car on test drive

Technician lost control and crashed into another car while under the influence of drugs

Mechanic jailed for killing man in customer’s car on test drive
Russell Vines was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

A mechanic who killed a pensioner while test driving a customer’s car he’d just fixed has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Russell Vines, who was 19 at the time of the incident, was taking the Honda Prelude “around the block” when he lost control and crashed into another car.

74-year-old Winstone Cotterell, who was in the other car with wife Janet, became trapped in his vehicle and later died in hospital.

Janet suffered serious injuries including fractures to her ribs, sternum and leg.

Death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs

Vines pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs and causing death while uninsured in February last year.

When Vines had a blood test six hours later he was found to have 1.1 part cannabis per litre of blood.

The court heard though it was not possible to back calculate his cannabis level he would have been significantly impaired to drive safely.

Charles Row, defending Vines, said: “He is genuinely sorry.

“He is full of remorse for what he has caused to this family.

“He accepts he was entirely at fault.

“A poor over-reaction caused the crash and the death of Mr Cotterell.

“There is no doubt remorse is genuine.”

Mr Row said his client was more interested in fixing cars than driving them and on the day in question was taking the Honda “around the block” after working on its radiator.

Vines accepted smoking cannabis the night before, but said he felt perfectly well when he drove.

Home Page Forums Mechanic jailed for killing man in customer’s car on test drive

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mr N Greenaway 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #181185 Reply

    Andy

    Why was he uninsured. Was he working for a company or just an unregistered side of the road mechanic. At 19 he certainly would struggle to be fully trained and qualified mechanic yet there is no mention of a garage. I’m not saying this couldn’t have happened if he was employed by a reputable company but if the worse had happened at least there would be insurance

    #181186 Reply

    bowser

    as with any policy it is void if you are found to be under the influence of any narcotic or substance, he may have been “covered” on the companies insurance until he was found to be under the influence then all insurance indemnity is null and void instantly.

    #181248 Reply

    Peter Miles

    Three lives totally ruined. The poor man who was killed, his seriously injured wife and the idiot mechanic. He’ll be out after, at most, two years which I think is a scandal in itself but with this on his record he’ll be very lucky to make anything of himself for the rest of his life. Unless he takes up drug dealing I suppose….

    #181316 Reply

    Mr N Greenaway

    Tragic things happen to young people like this! With ingredients such as drugs lack of awareness tunnel vision and disregard for others from living entirely in your own bubble is a recipe destined to lead to disaster, unfortunately everyone goes through their own learning curve. I hope he learns from this experience it is difficult to determine what jail sentence is necessary for taking a life because at some point a custodial sentence for his age group can cause more harm than good.

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