Daniel’s car becomes Christmas reminder for drivers

Sgt Pat Worden with Helen Birch, whose son Daniel died
Sgt Pat Worden with Helen Birch, whose son Daniel died

The wreckage of a car owned by a Coppull man is being used to urge people to consider the devastating consequences of drink-driving this Christmas.

Daniel Birch, 23, died after losing control of his car and crashing into a gatepost on Wigan Road, Coppull, at 4am on March 18, 2012, on the way home from a night out.

He was almost three times the legal limit.

His car was put on display at Tesco supermarkets in Chorley and Leyland earlier this year in a campaign with Lancashire County Council’s Wasted Lives team, which aims to reduce deaths and injuries among young drivers.

And it was shown to shoppers at the Flag Market in Preston yesterday as a warning about drinking and driving in the approach to Christmas, organised by Wasted Lives, the police and fire service.

Daniel’s mum, Helen, said: “We want parents to realise that no matter what age their kids are, they need to be asking them questions.

“Just because they don’t think they’re doing it, doesn’t mean they’re not.”

Also on display was a car owned by 18-year-old Matthew Alston, who died in 2010 in Read, near Burnley.

He was over the drink-drive limit the morning after a party at home.

Ch Insp Richard Blackburn, from Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Daniel and Matthew’s stories highlight the most tragic consequences of drink driving.

“Their families have been left completely devastated but are keen to educate people about the dangers.

“We do want people to have fun this Christmas, but we would urge people to remember and consider the consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and also drugs.

“And don’t forget you could still be over the limit the morning after the night before.”

During December, police will carry out enforcement activity across the county.

They will have checkpoints at various locations, where officers will administer drink and drugs tests if they suspect somebody may be under the influence.

They will also remind and educate drivers about the dangers of driving after drinking or taking drugs.