A drunk woman driver who killed her sister-in-law after ploughing into a lorry while swigging Bacardi behind the wheel has been jailed.
Zakia Akhtar, 30, was driving on the wrong side of the road before careering into two parked cars and smashing into the back of a HGV at 51mph.
Rescue teams dashed to the crash scene in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, at 7.35pm on January 8 and found the car wedged two metres into the truck.
The sisters in law were cut out of the wrecked Vauxhall Corsa and rushed to hospital.
Akhtar survived the but Mobeen Hussain, 25, who was in the passenger seat, died from her injuries.
On Wednesday (3/8) Akhtar, of Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court and was jailed for four years.
Judge David Fletcher said: “This is a tragic case. You were the sister-in-law of Mobeen but she was also your best friend.
“You have been like her big sister and helped her settle down in a new environment and you helped look after her two young children.
“On this day you went out late in the afternoon and did some shopping. For some inexplicable reason you chose to consume alcohol.
“You were not paying attention. This large articulated vehicle was parked perfectly properly.
“Your vehicle was embedded under the rear of that trailer.”
Akhtar, who hit the lorry travelling at 51mph, told police she was supposed to wear glasses for distance vision but did not because she felt she could see clearly.
She said she was keeping the Bacardi in the car so her daughter didn’t find it and Mobeen gave her the alcohol as she drove and asked her to go faster.
When she was breathalysed six hours after the smash she gave a reading of 66 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – nearly twice the legal limit of 35.
An expert found she would have given a reading of 100 micrograms – nearly three times the limit – if breathalysed at the time of the crash.
Prosecutor Madhu Rai said: “The lorry driver suddenly felt his lorry move. The cause of the death was a direct result of the collision.”
The crash was seen by two women travelling in a car behind.
Miss Rai said: “The passenger says the Corsa was going faster and faster and pulling away at speed. It remained on the wrong side of the road for quite some time.
“She saw nothing to indicate the defendant tried to avoid the parked lorry. She did not slow down. She simply drove straight into the back of the parked lorry.”
The court heard there was no trace of alcohol found in Mobeen’s body.
Her parents and siblings live in Pakistan and the court was told she was “much-loved” and a “favourite” in her family.
Richard Oldroyd, defending, said the defendant has been looking after Mobeen’s children since her death.
He said she had drunk some Bacardi which she kept in her car so her daughter did not find it.
Mr Oldroyd said: “It was an ill-advised experiment. She clearly did not understand the strength of it.
“She corrected being on the wrong side of the road about 30 metres before the collision and the tragedy ensued.”
Akhtar was handed a four-year driving ban and must then pass an extended test.