Girlfriend of Lewis Knapp appeals to people not to drink and drive

Road Safety GB  organisation chairman Paul Watson, firefighter Philip Waddell and Caitlyn Hardy, girlfriend of Lewis Knapp
Road Safety GB organisation chairman Paul Watson, firefighter Philip Waddell and Caitlyn Hardy, girlfriend of Lewis Knapp

The girlfriend of Lewis Knapp - who was killed in a hit-and-run in South Shields - has made an emotional appeal to students not to drink and drive.

Caitlyn Hardy joined the chairman of Road Safety GB North East Paul Watson and firefighter Philip Waddell at South Tyneside College yesterday.

People need to be aware of the dangers of drink-driving

Caitlyn Hardy

The trio are hoping to drive home the road safety message not to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking ahead of the World Cup after research found the number of incidents spike around major international football tournaments.

Miss Hardy said: “People of all ages, but young people especially, need to be aware of the dangers of drink-driving.

“My message to them is never to take the car with them if they are going to the pub and think they may have even one drink.

“They should get someone who isn’t drinking to drive, or they should take a taxi. They shouldn’t even think that they can have one drink.

“I don’t think that I will ever come to terms with what happened to Lewis, I think about it every day.”

Lewis, 20, was killed on Anderson Road, last year after being hit by a car driven by Connor Emms, who had been drinking and taking cocaine. Emms, 21, of Sycamore Avenue, South Shields, did not have a driving licence and was driving at more than twice the 30mph speed limit when he hit Lewis. Emms did not stop and Lewis died at the scene from multiple injuries.

Mr Watson said: “In the past four years there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the region’s roads in accidents where alcohol has been a factor.

“Drink-driving is an all-year round problem, but we have found there is a spike in incidents around major international football tournaments.

“We want to get across the consequences of what can happen when someone gets behind the wheel while drunk.”