The new Pupa Mediterranean grill restaurant has opened in Manchester
Man Jailed For Killing His Son In Horrific Crash While Driving With Drugs
A man has been jailed for four years for causing the death of his son by dangerous driving.
Leon Clarke, 40, has pleaded guilty to causing the tragic death of his eight-year-old son, Blake.
Clarke had been over the drug limit, in an uninsured car and with tires below the legal limit.
He was then driving at 76mph in poor weather conditions, with his two sons (Blake, eight, and Mason, six) in the car, when his vehicle spun and collided with a van Highways parked on the hard shoulder on Friday February 28, 2020.
In a tribute to Blake, his mother Vicky said: “Blake was cheeky, he was the prankster, he was popular and he was very smart, he had a bright future. Blake was sensitive, affectionate, protective of Mason, his friends and me.
“He loved school so much that he was looking forward to going back to school that Monday. He loved his friends, whom he had since kindergarten. He loved street dancing, video games and Legos. Blake loved life and loved his family.
“Having been told by the hospital that Blake had died and seeing Mason with minor injuries. I couldn’t understand how one of my children was fine and the other was dead.
“On the day of Blake’s funeral, he was lying in his casket. I knew that would be the last time I would see Blake, kiss him and touch his skin. I was screaming, screaming at him “Please Blake, please wake up for mom.”
“Blake and Mason didn’t have a choice or a chance that day after leaving their chicks, all the choices were made for them by their dad who they were both thrilled to see. My boys don’t had no chance. Now I live in an ongoing nightmare that I have yet to wake up from. Mason lost his best friend and I lost my beautiful son and the life and love I once had.
On that tragic day, Clarke had collected her children from their grandmother’s house in Middleton and was heading to her partner’s address in Stockport.
His car went into an irreversible spin and the rear of it collided with a Highways Iveco Tipper Van – Blake was sitting in the back of the car.
Members of the public pulled Blake and his brother Mason out of the car and desperately tried to save the boy’s life.
But despite their efforts, and those of the emergency services, he died of his injuries.
Mason and the highway worker were both taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Leon Clarke provided a positive drug sample at the scene and was arrested.
It turned out he was 13 times over the legal limit for the cocaine by-product benzoylecgonine – a much higher amount than his interview suggested, when he said he had taken cocaine the night before but felt well enough to drive.
Police Sergeant Emma Kennedy of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: ‘Blake’s death was entirely preventable.
“The safety of his two sons should have been at the forefront of his mind. Instead, he took cocaine in the hours before they were collected from their grandmother. When he joined the highway, he did not drive in the weather conditions and exceeded the speed limit despite surface water and spray.
“Blake’s loss is not only felt by his family, but by his classmates as well. Blake should have started his journey in high school this year. The devastation of Blake’s death has affected all who care about him. loved and knew him.His death touched members of the public and emergency services who tried to help that day.
“On behalf of Blake’s family and GMP, I would like to thank the members of the public who stopped and provided first aid to Blake, as well as highway workers, the Greater Manchester, North West Ambulance Service, Air Ambulance and Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital who desperately tried to save Blake.
“This should be a reminder to any motorist who chooses to drive after taking drugs, those who do not drive in the weather conditions and those who drive with insufficient tread on their tires. It may take all of these things, or even just one thing, for a journey to end in tragedy – so remember that your actions can have fatal consequences.
For all the latest news, events and happenings in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter here.
Featured Image: BPF