'My mam should not have died that day': Driver who killed grandmother jailed for 44 months

Credit: Durham Constabulary

The family of a loved grandmother who was killed by a dangerous driver has vowed to work with police to make the roads safer.

Madeline Osborne-Sawyer, 62, was on her way to pick up her grandchildren when she was hit head-on by a Mercedes in Thorpe Road, Horden, on February 6.

The driver, Dean Everist, had already narrowly avoided two other cars as he sped along the 40mph road in the wet conditions.

Travelling at more than 70mph, he narrowly avoided crashing into a bollard before hitting Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s Ford Focus.

Thorpe Road, Horden Credit: Google

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s injuries were so severe that she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Everist failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving but refused to admit his guilt until two weeks before his trial was due to start.

Everist’s rear tyre was also underinflated, which would have failed an MOT test which was due just two days after the incident.

Sentencing him at Durham Crown Court yesterday, Judge James Adkin called Everist’s driving “impetuous and aggressive” and noted he had not shown remorse for the offence.

He jailed the 44-year-old, of Fifth Street, Horden, for 44 months and banned him from driving for 46 months.

Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s family attended court for the sentencing where a victim impact statement from her son Lawrence was read out.

“My mam was the kindest, most thoughtful, hard working woman you will ever meet,” Mr Sawyer said.

He added: “My mam would never speed, not even 1mph over, she was careful, she was safe. The day she was killed she had done nothing wrong.

“From day one I just wanted Dean Everist, the man who killed my mam to accept what he had done and take some responsibility, even tell us he was sorry - accept what the police evidence said he had done, but he wouldn't.”

Mr Sawyer has vowed to use his story to educate others on road safety.

He said: “My mam should not have died that day. If Dean Everist had been safe and slow this would not have happened.

“I hope my story will educate others, and hopefully make the roads a safer place. I want to help make it safer for others. This is the least I can do for my mam, and I think she would be proud.”

Roads Policing Inspector Kevin Salter praised Mrs Osbourne-Sawyer’s family for their courage throughout the court process.

He said: “Mrs Osbourne-Sawyer was a loving grandmother who was on her way to pick up her grandchildren. She was a safe driver and should have arrived safely but due to the selfish actions of Everist, she never saw her family again.

“This has been a heart-breaking case, made worse by Everist’s lack of remorse and I would urge all drivers to think twice about their manner of driving and to make sure their vehicles are roadworthy.

This week Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit is holding Operation Brake, a road safety week led by the charity Brake, aimed at educating road users.