‘Drink-driver took away the main person in our lives from us...’

From left, Jon, Kayleigh, Shana and Daniel Greest
From left, Jon, Kayleigh, Shana and Daniel Greest
  • Heartbroken family speak out as police launch campaign against drink-drivers this Christmas
  • Second highest proportion of arrests during previous crackdown were in Portsmouth
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SELFISH, thoughtless – and unforgivable.

Those three words sum up what Kayleigh Greest thinks of the drink-driver who snatched her much-loved father Andrew Greest away from her family.

Today, as Hampshire police launch their Christmas drink-driving crackdown, Kayleigh speaks out about the still-raw pain of losing her dad.

Kayleigh, 25, of Gosport, said: ‘I would never accept an apology from him. He’s taken away the main person from us in our lives. We’re never going to get him back.

‘I know the driver didn’t go out with a knife and murder him, I understand that.

‘I know he wanted a drink but surely he knew he was getting in that car.’

Andrew Greest, who was killed by a drink-driver in December 2013

Andrew Greest, who was killed by a drink-driver in December 2013

She added: ‘I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that.

‘It’s not just the victim’s family, it’s the family of the person that did it as well.

‘It’s a minute of madness for a lifetime of grief.’

Her father died aged 54 after Steven Anderson, an oil rig worker, crashed into the back of Mr Greest’s Vauxhall Vectra on the M3 between junctions eight and nine on December 15, 2012.

Christmas is a time we should be celebrating all the best in life. But due to the selfish actions of a few, our officers are having to knock on the doors of people to give them the news that nobody wants

Sgt David Sanderson

Anderson, of Poole, had been drinking both while on and waiting for a delayed flight from Aberdeen to London, Winchester Crown Court heard in 2013.

A back calculation by police worked out Anderson had a reading of 219mg per 100ml of blood and 233mg at the time he collected the hired Vectra Insignia car he was driving.

The limit for alcohol in blood is 80mg per 100ml.

Anderson admitted causing death by careless driving while over the limit and was jailed for seven years.

Just last month a letter sent on his behalf asked if Kayleigh would meet him.

‘I would never want to come face to face with him,’ Kayleigh told The News.

Since losing her father she has been forced to move out of the family home in Pelham Road, Gosport, and now shares with her brother, Dan.

Kayleigh has spoken out about the impact on her family as a way of backing the police’s crackdown this Christmas.

She said: ‘It’s brilliant what they’re doing.

‘I know more people drink and drive at Christmas – that’s just selfishness.

‘I don’t care if it’s one pint or 10 pints, everyone’s metabolism is different.’

Roads policing officers running Operation Holly are warning they will catch drink-drivers and drug-drivers.

Sgt David Sanderson, from Havant Roads Policing Unit, will be out with his officers in force in the operation, which runs up until New Year’s Eve.

He said: ‘I want the public on board with us – we really like responsible driving but we are targeting those who are not safe on the roads.

‘This is our daily business, you can be rest assured we will be out in force in the Eastern district of Hampshire, in Portsmouth, Havant and Waterlooville.

‘We will be specifically trying to target people drink-driving or driving impaired.’

Drivers recently jailed include former TV show As If! actress Emily Corrie, 36, of Twyford Avenue, Tipner, who was nearly five times the limit on the A3(M) on the way to her own hen do.

A judge at Portsmouth Crown Court jailed her for a year for dangerous driving.

New powers this year allow officers to take drivers to court for drug-driving.

That includes both legal prescription medicine and illegal drugs, such as cocaine.

Sgt Sanderson added: ‘This is about asking members of the public to take responsibility for everybody’s safety.

‘For us at Christmas this is a time when it seems to spike.

‘Christmas is a time we should be celebrating all the best in life. But due to the selfish actions of a few, our officers are having to knock on the doors of people to give them the news that nobody wants.

‘We want to take the Christmas period to ask the public to reflect on their standards of driving and ask the public to tackle this social disease.’

This year the campaign – led by Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police – is called ‘Where will you end up tonight?’ and features a mortuary to highlight the dangers.

Road safety sergeant Rob Heard said: ‘Nearly 7,000 people were breathalysed by police across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight last December, with 150 people being arrested for providing a positive result, failing to provide or refusal.

‘They could have caused a crash that killed or left someone injured with a lasting life-changing impact for themselves, family and friends.’

The force is also warning of the consequences of drink-driving, including increase car insurance premiums and difficulty in getting a job.

And Dr Janet Maxwell, director of public health at Portsmouth City Council, is urging people worried about drink to get help.

‘Drinking even a moderate amount of alcohol can have negative impacts on the body that go beyond hangovers,’ she said.

• Call the Wellbeing Service for help on (023) 9229 4001.