A lorry driver has finally admitted killing his friend through drink riving after a 15 month trial. Alex Smith, now 22, and Samuel Mcneil, 21, had spent the day in Smith’s lorry before going to the pub in the evening and drinking between six and 10 pints of lager – and five Jagerbombs each. When the pair were driving home, they crashed while in Smith's other vehicle, a Vauxhall Corsa. Smith is understood to have said "That's my job gone, then" as Mcneil lay dying beside him. Quickly, he decided to use this as cover for his own part in the crash and decided to try and pretend it was actually Mcneil driving at the time of the crash, which resulted from clipping a kerb and rolling multiple times into a garden in Overseal.
Mcneil has not been wearing a seatbelt at the time, and was pronounced dead at the scene. His funeral was paid for by funds from a charity drive to support the family, who have been embraced by the local community amongst the tragedy. Since the accident, in December 2016, Smith maintained that Mcneil was the driver of the car until finally, at the last possible moment before trial, he finally admitted it was him. Several residents in the area had heard the crash and rushed out to look, and one person actually saw Smith climb out of the driver's seat. Smith was agitated, and worried about his job, before beginning his campaign of lies by remarking to one resident "I should have never let him drive" and phoning his family to cement his cover story.
Police arrived swiftly to the scene, where they were treated to more lies, and Smith said the two had swapped seats halfway through the two-mile journey and Samuel decided to drive. Police managed to prove that branches and foliage were in the passenger side, where the passenger door has not been opened. Alex Smith was jailed for six years and nine months at Derby Crown Court on Thursday. Samuel’s father David Mcneil said: "Samuel told me about his plans, how things were going to be when he had children and what life would be like for him as a dad. I feel my heart has been ripped out and running with only half the beats it should. I have to talk myself into continuing with my day. I spend most of my day in a blur. I am left feeling empty and very angry." The car had apparently been travelling at 65mph before the crash.